Officials express frustration about appeal denial in letter to FEMA

Local officials have penned a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expressing their disappointment in the rejection of the state’s appeal for individual assistance for flood victims.

Posted: Mar 2, 2020 4:53 PM
Updated: Mar 3, 2020 9:12 AM

Local officials have penned a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expressing their disappointment in the rejection of the state’s appeal for individual assistance for flood victims.

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, Sen. Joseph Griffo and Assemblyman Brian Miller signed the following letter to the FEMA administrator, Peter Gaynor:

Photo courtesy of Michael Sylvia

Dear Administrator Gaynor:

We are disappointed with FEMA’s decision to reject an appeal from New York State for individual assistance to the victims of devastating flooding that occurred in Oneida County and the Mohawk Valley this past fall. It is our belief that this decision was wrong, flawed and insensitive to the serious needs of many residents and business owners in the region and throughout New York State.

In a time when severe weather and natural disasters are occurring with more regularity, it has become increasingly apparent that FEMA needs to reexamine and reassess its structure and decision-making process when it comes to providing assistance for residents of communities that have been impacted by natural disasters such as the flooding that occurred this past fall. FEMA has helped other localities in the nation who have experienced similar situations. The agency must ensure that it has the appropriate level of funding available to meet all of the needs of our communities and those who may find themselves impacted by these devastating natural and weather-related events.

Despite this frustrating decision, we are hopeful that FEMA will continue to seek out any additional assistance that the agency can provide or secure to help those in need and to alleviate the significant concerns shared by many homeowners, businesses, local governments and others over the last several years.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

FEMA denied an appeal filed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking the agency to reconsider providing individual assistance to those affected by the 2019 Halloween floods.

Several counties across the state were granted public assistance from FEMA in December to help repair infrastructure, but FEMA said the damage to households was not severe enough to warrant additional funding for individuals.

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