Whitesboro residents: We will give Senator Schumer an earful

By GARY LIBERATORE

WHITESBORO, N.Y. (WKTV) - U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is scheduled to tour the recent flood damage in the Village of Whitesboro at 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon and residents say they can't wait for him to come.

Schumer says he wants to fight for federal assistance for the people of Oneida County.

The senator will be joined by Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente and Whitesboro Mayor Brenda Gilberti. They are expected to walk the streets off of Main Street hit hard by recent flooding, including Gardner Place and Sauquoit Street.

Jason Small who lives on Sauquoit Street says he agrees with a sign neighbors put up in their yard that says 'Fix The Creek'.

The Sauquoit Creek has overflowed its banks three times this year alone, including twice in the past two weeks and Small says something needs to be done to prevent another flood.

"The amount of taxes that we pay, property taxes, and to have it happen once is one thing, but to have it happen three times in one year! I haven't heard any suggestions on how they're going to fix the problem," Small said. "It seems like they keep putting a band aid over the problem by 'kind of' cleaning it up and forget about it, and it just happens again. It's getting old having it happen. It's pretty frustrating."

One couple on Sauquoit Street replaced all of their appliances two weeks ago when the Sauquoit Creek overflowed and filled this section of Whitesboro when Tropical Storm Irene came through, and now they have to replace them all again after Tropical Storm Lee.

Small says he wants to see Oneida County finally join the other twenty something counties in the state that have already been declared disaster areas so he and other residents who have sustained flood damage throughout Oneida County can become eligible for federal aid.

Senator Schumer will also be joined by Utica Mayor David Roefaro who wants the senator to know that it's not just Whitesboro that sustained severe flood damage.

A number of residents in South Utica were also affected by the overflow of the Sauquoit Creek as well.

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