WHITESBORO, N.Y. – The Whitesboro mayor held a press conference Wednesday to provide an update on flood relief for residents of the village.
Mayor Robert Friedlander says 150 homes were impacted by the flooding on Halloween night, with 5 feet of water or more in several houses.
He thanked local firefighters and police for working diligently to pump water out of basements and helping to keep the Whitesboro streets safe from looting. He also expressed gratitude to the Department of Public Works for using their equipment to rescue people trapped on upper floors of their flooded homes.
Friedlander says assistance is welcomed, but asks that people avoid any unnecessary travel in and out of the village.
“I ask that if you’re not here to help, please don’t be here in our village,” said Friedlander. “I don’t need gawkers, I don’t need scrappers, I don’t need scammers; I have asked our police department if these people are here and they don’t belong here – arrest them if they don’t want to leave.”
The Air National Guard has also been in the area to assist with flood repairs and cleanup.
“They’ve done an excellent job of helping getting the trash and debris caused by the flood picked up and get it in trucks and get it out of this area,” said Friedlander.
Local businesses have opened their doors to the Guard members, allowing use of their facilities if needed.
The American Red Cross will also continue providing support and hot meals to crews and residents displaced by the floods.
There is also a free shower station for residents who do not have hot water or any water at all. The station is located on the corner of Ablett Avenue and Main Street.
Friedlander is also looking for federal assistance from FEMA , and says he will welcome buyouts if they are offered.
“Our people have seen enough, they don’t want to hear about fixes in the creek, they want salvation for their homes and for their lives. And if there’s a buyout program, I will encourage it,” he said.
The United Way will hold a meeting at Parkway Middle School on Nov. 15, where multiple agencies will be available to provide resources to flood victims.
Residents are reminded that the best way to get information at this time, is to dial 211.