Seward Pursues Flood Aid For Schoharie County

ONEONTA, 07/22/13 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced his continued support for Schoharie County’s  inclusion in the federal disaster declaration for flooding damage in late June/early July. 

“Schoharie County, unfortunately, knows far too well the ins and outs of applying for federal disaster assistance,” said Senator Seward.  “In this particular situation, the question isn’t how much damage occurred, but when.”

Twelve New York counties were included in a federal disaster declaration for severe storms and flooding between June 28 and July 4, 2013 making them eligible for funding to assist with emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.  While Schoharie County was included in the request for assistance made by Governor Cuomo, it was not part of the final declaration.

Officials with the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services have advised Senator Seward that the office emergency management and FEMA found sufficient damages that would qualify for federal disaster aid.  The damages, however, were sustained outside the incident period established by FEMA.

“The state is currently working with FEMA to expand the incident period based on a more comprehensive report from the National Weather Service.  If successful, Schoharie County would be added to the federal major disaster declaration allowing public governments to apply for much needed emergency assistance,” Seward added.

Senator Seward has also been in close contact with U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson who is supporting Schoharie County’s application as well.

“Parts of Schoharie County are still in the process of rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee from 2011 and cannot afford another hefty repair bill that would undercut rebuilding efforts.   I am confident that should FEMA reexamine the information regarding this storm, Schoharie County will be added to the disaster declaration, clearing the way for vital federal aid” Seward concluded.