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Roefaro to those affected by flood: "We're going to get you help"
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Mayor David Roefaro was all ears Sunday morning as he listened to residents who have been effected by this week's flooding. He stood at the corner of Roosevelt Drive and Cornwall Avenue in South Uica, one of the hardest hit areas in the city.
In fact he and members of his staff, as well as two members of Utica's Common Council, were behind a podium set up right on the sidewalk of a home that had the worst damage of all.
Roefaro told the several dozen residents who came out that he wants to not only try to get them some financial help to recover, but to do some things to prevent what's happened, from being as bad during a future storm.
Roefaro says he will mail a letter to FEMA Monday morning asking for aid. The mayor said, "I'm asking FEMA to do the right thing and send money. And if for some reason, FEMA fails to flow, the FEMA money fails to flow into Utica, I will. And I mean I will march right to Washington and knock on the HUD Secretary door, Shaun Donovan and I will seek a waiver to allocate a portion of of the CDBG dollars to clean up this effort." CDBG dollars are federal Community Development Block Grant dollars.
Roosevelt Drive resident Jamie Pizzo says he hopes the Mayor's actions will result in some much needed help for him and his neighbors. Pizzo said, "I think there's money in Washington for everyone that's going through disasters. I don't care if you're in Oklahoma, Texas, or wherever you are, I think when people suffer from this type of personal loss I think the government is there to find the money because they seem to find the money for everything else."
Mayor Roefaro says he is fighting for Uticans like Pizzo and fellow Roosevelt Drive resident Donna Planty who owns the home right in front of where he held his press conference.
The front wall of her home collapsed during the storm and Planty had to be rescued from through her window by her neighbors. Planty said, "I went out the window and they literally carried me next door because the water was up to Irv's waste and for me it would have been up to my neck, so yea, it was pretty traumatic."
Her house has been deemed unlivable by the city. She said, "I'm staying with one of my sisters, my dog is with another sister, my cat is with my brother and my wife, my clothes are at my nieces."