The Telegram
  • Flood-affected homeowners not eligible for individual assistance

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday afternoon the Federal Emergency Management Agency informed him residents in communities affected by the recent flooding will not be eligible for the individual assistance program that would have provided federal funds to help homeowners rebuild and recover. “Hundreds of familie...
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  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday afternoon the Federal Emergency Management Agency informed him residents in communities affected by the recent flooding will not be eligible for the individual assistance program that would have provided federal funds to help homeowners rebuild and recover.
    “Hundreds of families sustained significant damage to their homes and have had their lives upended. New Yorkers believe in coming together to help each other in times of disaster. We are good neighbors and come to each other’s aid. As I have said from the day the floodwaters devastated towns and villages across upstate New York, if federal assistance is not provided, the state will step in to provide whatever is needed so New Yorkers can rebuild their lives and their homes,” Cuomo said in a news release.
    He added an effective government is one that serves the people and when disaster strikes is there to help. “In this situation people need help, and you haven’t seen anything until you see New Yorkers come together. The state will step up to the plate to ensure those affected by these floods have the resources and assistance they need to get their lives back together,” Cuomo said in the release.
    On Friday, FEMA granted public assistance to 12 counties, including Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery and Oneida, that had been affected by the flooding. Damage to public infrastructure in the counties exceeded $32.7 million, above the state’s $26.7 million per capita threshold, according to a prior release. Public assistance is for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
    “Since June when the rain and floods ravaged many communities across the state, I said I would do everything I could to bring relief and aid to the citizens and communities that have been damaged so badly,” Cuomo said in a release issued Friday evening. “I am very pleased President Obama has heard our call for assistance and has recognized the extraordinary weather event that occurred across the state and, through FEMA, has authorized federal funding through public assistance that will contribute significantly to the necessary recovery and rebuilding process. As we have learned too well in other areas of the state following catastrophic natural disasters, our rebuilding effort must help the affected communities come back stronger and more resilient to any future storms.”
    In Cuomo’s correspondence to Obama, he cited climatological and meteorological data provided by the National Weather Service that establishes June 11 as the beginning of the period of flood-producing rain that damaged public infrastructure.
    He also noted the state implemented its emergency plan through the June 11 activation of the state emergency operations center in response to severe storms and flash flooding.
    “I have seen firsthand the level of destruction and mayhem these floods have caused in the Mohawk Valley, the North Country and Western New York,” Cuomo said in Friday evening’s release. “It is a tragedy that so many communities of hard-working, decent New Yorkers have seen their lives turned upside down by the unpredictable and damaging impact of these severe storms and floods. But New Yorkers are strong, they are resilient and they care for each other. In this time, as during others in the recent past, we have come together to help each other and overcome what Mother Nature has wrought; we will overcome this challenge and we will prevail.”
    Page 2 of 4 - Cuomo said previously he is prepared to call the state Legislature back to address the flooding if the federal government declined to issue a disaster declaration.
    Cuomo said he would see how creative his administration could be providing help, but in “a worst case scenario” he is prepared to call lawmakers back to Albany to deal with it.
    Cuomo didn’t initially say Monday if he would call lawmakers back or how much aid the state could provide.
    Salvation Army offers financial assistance to flood victims
    The Salvation Army will offer limited financial assistance to Herkimer County residents who have been affected by the flooding in the Mohawk Valley.
    County residents must come in person to the Salvation Army’s 431 N. Prospect St. location in Herkimer with the following: identification for every person living in the household and proof of residence in the affected area (a bill or a pay stub). Hours will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. This will be available for the next three weeks.
    “The Central New York community been very generous in donating food, water and other items. We are moving out of emergency response mode into community support for those affected. The Salvation Army will provide gift cards that will help residents replace some of the necessary items that were lost, such as clothing, bedding or other incidentals. We are starting to focus on individual needs. Financial support from the public will aid us in helping those who will have to replace items lost in the flood,” said Major Pauline Dressler, incident commander for the Salvation Army’s efforts, in a news release.
    Throughout the relief efforts, the Salvation Army has provided almost 13,000 meals and over 2,100 clean up kits to Herkimer County residents and city of Oneida residents.
    Herkimer Co. residents urged to protect themselves from mosquitoes
    With the recent flooding conditions in Herkimer County, residents need to be aware mosquitoes can be more than just a nuisance as they can potentially infect people with diseases such as West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
    According to Herkimer County Public Heath, residents should protect themselves when outdoors by using mosquito repellant and wearing long pants and sleeves and by keeping doors closed and ensuring window screens are in place when indoors.
    Residents are also encouraged to take steps to reduce the number of mosquitoes around their home and property by eliminating standing water in their yards; disposing of used tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that collect water; drilling holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are kept indoors; making sure their roof gutters drain property and cleaning clogged gutters; turning over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use and changing bird baths at least twice week; cleaning vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds; cleaning and chlorinating swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs and draining water from pool covers.
    Page 3 of 4 - Anyone with questions may call Public Health at 867-1176.
    CFLR offering free counseling sessions
    In order to assist those impacted by the flooding in Herkimer and Oneida counties the Center for Family Life and Recovery’s Professional Clinical Services staff, in partnership with Herkimer – Oneida Organizations Assisting in Disasters, will offer a free one-hour counseling session, by appointment only, to anyone affected by the flooding.
    CFLR’s Professional Clinical Services staff will provide free in-person or telephonic counseling over the next two weeks to those affected by the flooding. In-person counseling sessions will be offered at CFLR’s offices in Utica, Rome and Herkimer.
    “Our thoughts are with our communities who are struggling with devastating flooding. We hope that everyone is safe and takes care of each other, as we move together to cope and recover,” said Cassandra Sheets, LMSW, chief executive officer for CFLR.
    To schedule an appointment individuals may call CFLA at 733-1726 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Montgomery Co. Public Health looking for volunteers
    Montgomery County Public Health is looking for volunteers in the event of an emergency or major disaster.
    By pre-registering with ServNY, Montgomery County residents will be prepared to use their skills, talents and experiences where they are needed most.
    Registration through the ServNY database may be completed by accessing the Public Health website at www.co.montgomery.ny.us/publichealth. On the left hand side bar, click on “Volunteer.” Registering tells Public Health that individuals are open to the idea of volunteering in case of an emergency. It does not guarantee an individual will be called upon, nor does it mean they must participate if called.
    For more information on volunteering call Public Health at 518-853-3531.
    Cooling stations established in Montgomery Co.
    Area residents have taken steps to help residents beat the heat over the next several days and have volunteered their facilities to serve as cooling stations. The cooling stations will provide relief from the heat blanketing the area by providing air conditioning as well as drinking water.
    Locations include the Horace Inman Center at 53 Guy Park Ave., Amsterdam, Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Canajoharie Library at 2 Erie Blvd., Canajoharie, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.; Glen Town Office at 7 Erie St., Fultonville, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; VFW Post No. 3275, 30 River St., Fort Plain, Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and the St. Johnsville Community House at 16 Washington St., St. Johnsville, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Page 4 of 4 - Tdap vaccinations available in Herkimer
    Any resident, responder or recovery worker in Herkimer in need of a free Tdap vaccination is welcome to attend a walk-in clinic Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Herkimer County Office and Courts Facility at 301 N. Washington St., Herkimer. For more information about the clinics call Herkimer County Public Health at 867-1176.
    DFS Mobile Command Center in Little Falls
    Representatives will be available to assist flood victims with insurance-related issues stemming from damage caused by the flooding inside the state Department of Financial Services’ Mobile Command Center Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Little Falls municipal parking lot, 659 E. Main St., Little Falls. Impacted families and business are also asked to call the DFS disaster hotline for assistance at 1-800-339-1759 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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