U.S. Representative Richard Hanna on Tuesday led a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama from U.S. House members in support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request for a major disaster declaration after severe flooding in upstate New York.
The flooding, which occurred on June 27 and 28, damaged homes and businesses.
In many areas there has been infrastructure damage and debris removal costs have been identified, providing additional burdens to local and state governments.
The letter was authored and signed by Reps. Hanna, Chris Gibson, Bill Owens, Paul Tonko and Tom Reed.
“We can attest to the extensive damage impacting homes, businesses and local infrastructure in the flooded areas and the serious personal losses experienced by local residents,” the members wrote. “Many families have been displaced from their homes, and local businesses have been devastated. Meanwhile, local governments are struggling to find funding to repair roads, culverts, bridges and other infrastructure damaged or destroyed. Without assistance from the federal government, many local leaders question how they will be able to make necessary repairs, the cost of which far exceeds local resources.”
The requested declaration would provide federal assistance in helping local governments, businesses and individuals rebuild from the storms.
During a tour of the village of Mohawk on Monday, Hanna assured residents federal aid should be made available.
“I can’t imagine why this wouldn’t be designated a disaster,” he said.
“It’s $3.27 per capita, per county and $27 million for the state. I’ll stick my neck out, because I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’ll get there,” Hanna added.
The affected counties include Broome, Chenango, Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Warren.