Help is on the way from Washington after recent flooding that devastated parts of Central New York.
On Friday, FEMA approved Governor Andrew Cuomo's request for federal public assistance aid for flooded counties. The money is not intended for individual homeowners. Instead, it will be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities.
According to a preliminary damage assessment by FEMA, the damage exceeded $32.7 million, well above the state's $27.7 million per capita threshold.
Counties eligible for Public Assistance include Allegany, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Otsego, and Warren counties. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
"Since June when the rain and floods ravaged many communities across the State, I said I would do everything I could to bring relief and aid to the citizens and communities that have been damaged so badly," said Governor Cuomo. "I am very pleased that President Obama has heard our call for assistance and has recognized the extraordinary weather event that occurred across the State and, through FEMA, has authorized federal funding through Public Assistance that will contribute significantly to the necessary recovery and rebuilding process. As we have learned too well in other areas of the state following catastrophic natural disasters, our rebuilding effort must help the affected communities come back stronger and more resilient to any future storms."
The State implemented its emergency plan through the June 11th activation of the State emergency operations center in response to severe storms and flash flooding. "I have seen firsthand the level of destruction and mayhem these floods have caused in the Mohawk Valley, the North Country and Western New York," said Governor Cuomo. "It is a tragedy that so many communities of hard-working, decent New Yorkers have seen their lives turned upside down by the unpredictable and damaging impact of these severe storms and floods. But New Yorkers are strong, they are resilient and they care for each other. In this time, as during others in the recent past, we have come together to help each other and overcome what Mother Nature has wrought; we will overcome this challenge and we will prevail. Now with the aid available through the federal Public Assistance funds, we know that we will be able to set to the task of rebuilding and reinvigorating our communities that have suffered so much. With our collective effort, a shared purpose and the commitment to build better and stronger than before, better days are before us."