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Gov. Cuomo details flood recovery program

by jmaloni

Press release

Wed, Jul 24th 2013 12:50 am

Governor discusses state flood recovery program to offer state funds for homeowners, businesses and farms in Niagara County

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo visited Lockport Tuesday to discuss the New York state flood recovery program and urge eligible residents and businesses in Niagara County to apply for state aid. The $16 million flood recovery program is intended to provide immediate recovery assistance to victims of recent floods and to address gaps in coverage for impacted homeowners, business owners and farmers in Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara and Oneida counties.

"Since the floods struck Niagara County, we have committed to giving homeowners and business owners the help they need to build back stronger and better than before," Cuomo said. "Today, the state is stepping up to provide these residents and communities with recovery assistance, going above and beyond what the federal government was able to provide. The state's financial commitment ensures that these New Yorkers have extra support to rebuild and recover."

While the damage from the recent floods was severe in many communities - preliminary surveys indicate more than 500 homes and 150 businesses suffered some form of damage - the financial and property loss from the floods was below the amount that triggers federal FEMA and other federal assistance. To meet the local needs, the funds for this program are being made available through an appropriation of state funds for emergency purposes made by the legislature this year.

Under the program, homeowners, small business owners and farmers or farm operations located in the designated counties may be eligible to receive grants, subject to the documentation of flood-related damage and uninsured losses. Homeowners may be eligible for up to $31,900 in assistance. Small business owners and farmers or farm operations may be eligible for up to $50,000 in assistance.

For homeowners, eligible costs include the repair and/or replacement of damage to roofs, windows, doors, siding, flooring, drywall, insulation, foundations, well and septic systems, electric systems, fuel tanks, heating and water systems, and appliances, as well as remediation of environmental hazards. Homeowners whose properties were destroyed by these floods may also be eligible for a buyout of their damaged property.

For businesses, eligible costs include reimbursement for losses to inventory, equipment, materials, fixtures and furniture; as well as design, construction, rehabilitation or reconstruction of flood-damaged structures.

For farms, funding is available for emergency funding to help with farm capital repair and replacement needs.

A breakdown of aid by county is listed below:

County

Total

Herkimer

$4,000,000

Madison

$3,000,000

Montgomery

$4,000,000

Niagara

$2,000,000

Oneida

$3,000,000

TOTAL

$16,000,000



In response, State Sen. George Maziarz said, "While the flood waters were still rising, Gov. Cuomo and I knew that state government would have a role to play in aiding the strong recovery of homes and businesses in Niagara County. The NYS flood recovery program fulfills that role - bridging the gap in aid funding that FEMA was unable to provide and offering home and business owners real relief to help put the pieces back together. I am appreciative of the governor's steadfast commitment to aiding local communities in their times of need, and am optimistic for our community's quick recovery."

Assemblyman John Ceretto said, "Over the past month, flood waters have severely damaged homes and businesses throughout Niagara County. When our residents were in need, the state stepped up to offer the individual assistance that FEMA did not, and Gov. Cuomo is to thank for it. The governor has been a strong ally throughout our community's recovery and his NYS flood recovery program provides our localities with the necessary funds to rebuild damaged neighborhoods. Niagara County is on the road to a fast recovery, and I am grateful for the governor's unwavering support for local communities impacted by these floods around the state."

Niagara County Legislative Chairman William Ross said, "Homes and businesses across Niagara County were left between a rock and a hard place by FEMA's decision to provide assistance only to government entities. However, Gov. Cuomo had said all along that we would not have to face reconstruction alone, and he has delivered on that promise with the NYS flood recovery program. I am grateful to have such a dependable partner in Gov. Cuomo, and look forward to working with him to build a stronger, better Niagara County."

Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker said, "The recent flooding that impacted Lockport has disrupted lives and presented challenging recovery costs to home and business owners. While our local government was able to receive aid from FEMA, our private citizens were not, and would have been left to rebuild on their own without Gov. Cuomo's actions. The NYS flood recovery program is another sign of how state government has become an active partner to local communities across the state."

For additional information on the state flood recovery program, and application materials, visithttp://www.nyshcr.org/Programs/NYS-Flood. Affected homeowners, businesses, and farms can also call the state flood helpline at 1-888-769-7243 for information on how to receive assistance under the state flood recovery program. The state flood helpline is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The state flood recovery program is a coordinated effort by the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, state Homes and Community Renewal, and the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.

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