MADISON COUNTY (WSYR-TV) - Congresswoman Claudia Tenney is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to request a federal disaster declaration, in the hopes his added voice will help Central New York get money from FEMA.
Tenney sent the following letter to Governor Cuomo:
Dear Governor Cuomo,
As you are aware, Oneida, Madison, and Herkimer counties recently sustained significant damage from flash flooding over the Fourth of July holiday. In the immediate aftermath of the flooding, I request that you direct the relevant state agencies to work with impacted communities to assess the damage and move forward with a request for a federal disaster declaration, if warranted.
Central New York received upwards of six inches of rain over a two-day period. On July 1, 2017, this heavy rainfall culminated in devastating flash floods throughout the region. Having toured the area personally to assist residents and assess the damage, I can tell you firsthand that the destruction is significant. Although I was encouraged to see how residents came together to help each other in this challenging time, the recovery from this flooding will no doubt take a heavy toll on those impacted. Cleanup efforts will be costly for property owners and municipalities alike. For this reason, I request that you do all you can to streamline state assistance to those impacted and that you waste no time in assessing the damage in order to request a federal disaster declaration.
In addition, I would also ask that you work closely with local officials and the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to comprehensively examine this most recent case of flooding, which unfortunately has become all too common for residents. In July 2013 and July 2014, federal disaster declarations were issued for similar areas after devastating floods caused millions of dollars in damage.
Residents are frustrated by the increasing frequency of the flooding and while the state has stepped up their mitigation efforts, we must do better to manage these waterways. It is important that the DEC and other state agencies work closely with communities to implement more sustainable and effective flood mitigation programs moving forward. I have been actively involved in this issue as a state official in the New York State Assembly. I continue to remain concerned about the DEC’s interpretation of Article 15 regulations concerning the state’s streams and waterways. I would greatly appreciate it if we could emphasize the importance of placing the safety of the human environment as the state’s top priority.
Please know that should New York State request a federal disaster declaration, I will call on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to act immediately on the request. My office has already been in contact with FEMA and stands ready to assist however we can.
MEMBER OF CONGRESS
Oneida County has put forth $2.75 million for flood mitigation, clean up and to help families rebuild.
It's not known how much New York State will offer.
FEMA requires a certain damage cost be met for each disaster before offering money to help.
Tenney hopes homeowners will come forth with their stories and damage reports to help aid to the case.
The New York State Department of Financial Services Mobile Command Center will be at the Whitesboro Fire Department through Saturday, July 8 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Those who can't visit the Mobile Command Center can call the Department's Disaster Hotline at 1-800-339-1759, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. for help with insurance-related issues.
Those in need of help can also call 2-1-1.
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