State will provide flood assistance
ALBANY--Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Friday, Nov. 2 he is making $13 million available for restoration and recovery efforts in Schuyler County and six additional area counties following the storms and flash flooding Aug. 13-15 that severely impacted communities in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.
A new residential assistance program has been created to provide funding to primary homeowners whose damages exceed insurance claims and other available aid. With maximum grants of $50,000, this program will help eliminate the unmet need of homeowners. The program will be administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and assistance will be provided in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Tioga, Delaware and Chenango Counties.
The grants can go toward reimbursements to support repairs to and restoration of structures, and other physical damage required for safety and habitability, including foundations, heating systems, electric systems, wells and septic systems, insulation and flooring.
National Weather Service data indicates these regions received between 10 and 20 inches of rain during the 30-day period beginning July 22. August storms near the end of this period produced heavy rainfall, flash flooding and strong winds, and combined with the ground saturated by this abnormally wet period, produced significant damage.
The governor declared a state of emergency Aug. 14, and nine local governments also declared states of emergency due to the severity of the storm. Widespread power outages impacted more than 1,500 homes and businesses in the area, and state and local first responders rescued and evacuated more than 200 people from campgrounds in the Finger Lakes region.
As a result of the damage caused by these storms, Cuomo requested technical assistance in the form of a joint preliminary damage assessment, Aug. 24. The federal government announced Oct. 2 approval for a major disaster declaration, making funding available to state government, eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by these severe storms.
Applications from homeowners for the residential assistance program were accepted starting Monday, Nov. 5. The deadline for applications is Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. Applications will be available from local not-for-profit housing organizations, who are administering the program. Homeowners seeking an application should contact:
Arbor Housing and Development (Schuyler, Chemung, Broome, Delaware, Chenango Counties), 607-654-7487 Ext. 2049, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.arbordevelopment.org
Bishop Sheen (Tioga and Seneca Counties), 585-657-4114, email@example.com, https://sheenhousing.org/
"Extreme weather is the new normal in New York and it's critical that we build more resilient communities to withstand this reality," Cuomo said. "This funding will help ensure families across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes that were hit hard by recent storms and flash flooding have the resources they need to rebuild stronger and safer than before."
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano said, "We have appreciated the administration's assistance since the August flooding to help our communities recover. In particular, we have been extremely grateful to regional Department of Transportation work crews to help our local responders repair infrastructure, and assist homeowners and businesses. Homeowners and entire communities will be enormously grateful for this direct state aid to help the restoration and recovery efforts keep moving forward."