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Residents outraged at denial of FEMA aid

By ANNA MEILER

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) – Governor Andrew Cuomo says he and legislators are ready to provide $10 million from the state budget to flood victims. This follows the federal government denying aid to individuals.

“Residents are understandably upset. There seems to be a lot of confusion about the criteria that FEMA was using and how they actually did their analysis of the damage that was done in this community. We've been trying to get some answers. We’ve been in contact with the Herkimer County Emergency Services Office here and it seems the confusion is only growing,” said Assemblyman Marc Butler, (R, 117th District).

Butler hopes FEMA will return to the area to assess the damage.

“The other problem is we have some people with houses that have been condemned. What do they do? At what point do they start either demolition or what is the process to follow? Right now, as we’ve been working through this, today we’re not getting any definitive answers. So, we’ve got a lot of people on hold right now waiting for some word from somebody in authority about how to move forward from this point,” he said.

Dolores Smith is one of those residents. She’s been living at the Herkimer Motel since June 28th when the flooding destroyed her home.

“It’s red-tagged. I can’t go back in it. Everything’s in it. My furniture, my clothes, my bed, my TVs. They won’t let me back in,” said Smith.

Feet of water remain in her basement and she can’t recover any of her belongings. Without flood insurance, she was counting on federal aid.

“I’ve been every place and they just said leave it like that until FEMA comes. Well now FEMA’s not coming. We lost everything, I mean, my car, everything we lost,” she said.

Right now it’s unclear how flood victims from the Mohawk Valley will receive state funds to repair their homes. Gov. Cuomo will be in Herkimer Wednesday morning to give details to homeowners.

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