Twenty-eight counties have received a major disaster declaration for the mid-March blizzard that blanketed parts of upstate New York, a step toward recouping millions of dollars in costs from the federal government, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday.

“Extreme weather is quickly becoming the new normal and all levels of government need to reorient to best help those impacted by increasingly frequent storms,” Cuomo said. “The state is committed to supporting every stage of the recovery process, and this declaration is critical to getting the assistance we need to help these communities move beyond this storm.”

The designation for these counties is part of a push for federal financial aid. State and local governments combined for more than $31.4 million in costs and infrastructure damage as a result of the storm, which killed three people.

“Local and state agencies worked tirelessly to keep residents safe before, during, and after this dangerous storm,” said Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger Parrino, Sr. “I am pleased the federal government has recognized Governor Cuomo’s request for federal assistance as essential to the recovery process. I would like to thank FEMA Region II for their on-the-ground-partnership. This declaration will be a crucial step in helping these communities recover from this storm.”

The 28 counties include Albany, Broome, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Orleans, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, and Ulster counties.