Centers open to help residents file for flood assistance

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Flood Assistance Teams are in the Mohawk Valley, helping flood victims apply for part of $16 million in aid from New York State.

There were four locations set up throughout the region, where officials of the New York State Department of Financial Services were stationed to advise victims and accept applications for the state aid. Over 500 families applied for aid on Sunday and there were over 250 applicants just at the Herkimer help center by 2:30 Monday afternoon.

“It’s a very easy environment and people are getting the help they need. They're understanding the process, filling out the application and waiting for inspectors or adjusters to come out and measure the amount and assistance they're eligible for,” said Michael Webber.

Once applications are filed, inspectors will go to each home to assess the damage and determine a grant value.

The Flood Recovery Program was launched last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo, making $16 million available from within the state budget for flood victims in Oneida, Herkimer, Madison and Montgomery Counties.

Affected homeowners will be eligible for $31,900 in assistance while small business owners and farmers are eligible for up to $50,000.

Residents whose homes were completely destroyed will be eligible for a buy-out, meaning the state will pay 100 percent market value of the property before the damage occurred. Renters can also get reimbursed for damaged furniture and personal property.

Applications are available online, but local officials are urging victims to take advantage of the resources. They’re also reminding people that even if you filled out a pre-application form on Friday, you still need to fill out the application.

“This is the governor’s priority and we’re trying to move as quickly as possible. That’s why it is important and we would like folks to take advantage of having folks in help centers to make sure the applications are complete as possible so there aren’t any delays,” said Lorraine Collins of the New York State Homes and Community Renewal.

All locations are open Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can be found at the New Hartford Fire Department, Herkimer County Community College, the Oneida Recreation Center, or the Senior Center in Fort Plain and additional sessions may be announced if needed.

If you are not able to make it to any of the Flood Assistance Centers, anyone affected by the flooding can also call the State Flood Helpline at 1-888-769-7243 to apply for assistance under the flood recovery program.

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