Governor Cuomo Says The State Will Help Central New York Flood Victims Because The Federal Government Will Not
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York will step in to help flood victims since the federal government will not.
He says the recent round of flooding in Central New York came out of the blue, in a ferocious manner and devastated people's lives. He acknowledges the political nature of the global warming argument but says that the increase in the number of these types of disasters is inarguable. "I know it looks bleak now but we are going to be here for you tomorrow and the day after and the day after and we're going to do what we have to do to help you because that's what we're about and that's what we believe."
Cuomo added, "The state is going to fund what the federal government should have funded, in my opinion. And the state is going to fund individual assistance to the homeowners that were damaged and who lost their homes. We're going to fund at the same guidelines that the federal government would have funded at for people who had damaged homes...If you lost your home and you want a buyout from your home, some people decide that they want a buyout, and they don't want to go back to that home because maybe it's flooded a number of times, the state will pay one hundred percent of the market value of that house before the flood or the damage was done. We'll offer assistance to small business owners, to farm owners for losses to businesses and to farms."
Although President Barack Obama designated the region a federal disaster area over the weekend, coverage from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) extends only to municipalities, and did not cover individual homeowners. This measure by the state effectively remedies that.
Documented damages are eligible for grants in the following amounts:
- $31,900 for homeowners
- $50,000 for small business and farm owners
Homeowners whose homes were completely damaged may qualify for a full buyout by the state.
A total of sixteen million dollars in relief is being made available by New York. The county breakdown is as follows:
- Herkimer $4 million
- Madison $3 million
- Montgomery $4 million
- Niagara $2 million
- Oneida $3 million
An additional conference had previously been scheduled for Thursday, July 19, 2013 to deal with issues that had arisen from Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and Hurricane Sandy. Legislators for the communities affected by those weather occurrences will also be in attendance at that conference. Damage prevention will be a primary topic of discussion during that meeting.
Residents who have questions or who would like to apply for flood relief should visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/Programs/NYS-Flood or call the New York State Flood Helpline at: (888) 769.7243. The helpline is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 8:00pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00am to 5:00pm. There is a pre-application form for residents who are interested in applying for flood relief at: https://www1.dhcr.state.ny.us/floodprogram/.
Video of the Governor's press conference is below:
Central New York and the Mohawk Valley woke up to flooding throughout the Utica Rome area. Click on the story link above for photos and video from around the region.