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NY provides $16M to some flooded upstate counties

By ANNA MEILER

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in Herkimer Wednesday to announce the state will be providing $16 million to flood victims hit hardest after the recent flooding.

“When you add it all together, Herkimer is going to receive about $4 million dollars in assistance, Madison County will receive about $3 million in assistance, Montgomery $4 million, Oneida $3 million, Niagara County $2 million for a total of 16 million dollars in state aid. It’s a lot of money, but it’s your neighbor saying, ‘we’re here to help you,” said Gov. Cuomo.

While FEMA is reimbursing local governments for infrastructure repairs, homeowners didn’t qualify for aid. An estimated 500 homes were damaged with dozens completely destroyed.

“The state is going to fund what the federal government should have funded in my opinion and the state is going to fund individual assistance,” said Gov. Cuomo.

Homeowners may receive up to $31,900 in assistance and residents whose homes were completely destroyed will be eligible for a buyout.

“The state will pay 100 percent of the market value of that house before the flood, before the damage was done,” he said.

Small businesses are eligible to receive grants up to $50,000. Gov. Cuomo was able to free the money from the $137 billion state budget and said he’s pleased he was able to do so without calling the legislature back into session.

“It’s expensive to bring a legislature back to Albany. It also would have taken more time because I would have had to schedule it, people have vacations, etcetera, so it would’ve taken at least several weeks and homeowners needed help today,” he said.

He left the room at Herkimer Community College with this message:

“I believe this community is stronger having gone through what they went through and come together and the bonds of this fabric of this community are stronger. I believe we’re not just going to rebuild back what was before, but we’re going to build it back better than it ever was before,” he said.

On July 18 the governor is hosting the New York Rising Storm Conference. It was planned for localities hit by Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, but the governor is extending the invitation to anyone in Central New York affected by the recent flooding. The conference will focus on rebuilding communities hit by flooding and how to make them more resilient in the case of future storms.

For information on how to apply for the Mohawk Valley and 2013 Upstate Flood Recovery Program, click here.

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