Seward Views Flood Damage

James L. Seward

April 08, 2005

Senator James L. Seward was in Cortland this week to meet with local officials and residents following the floods of April 2-4. Seward visited right after the senate ended its weekly session, stopping in Cortland to meet with Mayor Tom Gallagher and legislature Chairman Scott Steve to look at the damage caused by the floods.

"I have been in direct contact with the director of the state emergency management office," Seward said. "I pressed the importance of getting state and federal help for our area, including Cortland, Chenango, Schoharie and Greene Counties, and the director pledged his full support. Assessment teams will be in the counties, gathering information to build a case for a presidential disaster declaration."

Cortland officials advised Seward that the county had experienced about $5.2 million in infrastructure damage, exclusive of losses by towns and villages. The city's losses were estimated at $3 million.

Seward said that if a presidential declaration is declared, residents will be eligible for cash assistance and businesses could receive aid through the small business administration.

Seward also visited Cincinnatus, stopping at the fire department, Mike Natoli's store and the school.

"My heart goes out to those who have suffered losses, and I can't praise enough the first responders and citizens who turned out to help their neighbors," Seward said.