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Some still hopeful for FEMA help

Despite this week's announcement that FEMA will not provide individual assistance to area flood victims, some are still hoping that decision will get overturned.

Posted: Jan 4, 2020 2:26 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2020 7:13 PM

Herkimer, N.Y. - Herkimer County Legislature Vice Chairman Vince Bono says it’s been an extremely tough past two days for many people in his county since FEMA announced on Thursday that our area did not qualify for individual assistance.

Bono says that announcement, albeit tough, has given him and other county leaders fuel to keep fighting for residents hit hard by the Halloween flooding, “We feel their pain and we will reach out and do everything we can, to our federal representatives, to our state representatives, and as a matter of fact on Tuesday we’re meeting with the Mohawk Valley Nine. There is a meeting that we’ll be attending. I will voice our concerns to them and preach loud and strong.”

Bono says the Herkimer County Legislature has written a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to ask FEMA to come back in and reassess the damage and hopefully overturn their decision and ultimately provide individual assistance.

Deborah Kessler owns the West Canada Creek Village, a 20 unit 55-and-over mobile home park in Poland with her two brothers that was badly damaged in the flooding.

She says she is hopeful the appeal to FEMA will work, but admits this week’s announcement by FEMA was very difficult to hear, “Very upsetting, very, very upsetting. I spent a significant amount of time with FEMA, touring the park, going to each home, and thought that this was a good thing that they were going to come through for us.”

Kessler says of the 20 mobile homes in the park, 11 were so badly damaged they are unlivable, three of which she and family own and were renting out.

Kessler says she’s not sure what is going to happen with the homes that are now destroyed but says she is hoping for the best from FEMA, “We aren’t giving up hope.”

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