Wednesday, June 18, 2014


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Senators seek disaster declaration for flooded upstate counties

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand urged President Barack Obama to swiftly approve New York State’s request for federal support in light of the severe flooding in communities across upstate New York. Specifically, Schumer and Gillibrand are requesting swift approval of a Major Disaster Declaration for the impacted counties that include Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Delaware, Herkimer, Lewis, Livingston, Ontario, Otsego, Steuben and Yates Counties. Back-to-back severe storms last month caused significant flooding, forcing residents to evacuate their homes, destroyed personal property, and damaged critical infrastructure such as roads, culverts, and power lines. The cost of damage currently totals approximately $28.2 million. Senators urged the President to take immediate action to work with the affected counties and the New York State to quickly approve this declaration. 

“Eleven counties in Upstate New York have been devastated by severe flooding in the last month, and it is high time we get those counties the FEMA disaster declaration they need to help residents and businesses recover,” said Senator Schumer. “It is important the federal government step up to the plate and swiftly approve the request for this designation, as it will provide these localities the funds and resources they need to recoup the cost of the damages to their communities, roads, power lines and other critical infrastructure.”

“Severe flooding has damaged critical infrastructure and flooded homes and businesses throughout communities across Upstate,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The cost of the public damage to rural counties is overwhelming which is why federal assistance is so important.  I will continue to work to ensure that all possible resources are brought to bear to ensure a full recovery for all of our impacted communities.”

Severe storms, which occurred on May 13th and again on May 15-16, caused extreme flooding and extensive damage to public and private property across New York communities.  On May 14th, New York State declared a State Disaster Emergency for various counties, and certain municipalities were also declared local states of emergency. The storm impacted over 150 homes and dozens of businesses.  Flooding throughout Yates, Ontario and Livingston counties devastated homeowners,