Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the state is launching the $16 million Mohawk Valley and 2013 Upstate Flood Recovery Program to assist homeowners, small businesses and farms in areas of the State hardest hit by recent flooding. The NYS Flood Recovery Program is intended to provide immediate recovery assistance to victims of these floods and to address gaps in coverage for impacted homeowners, business owners and farmers in Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara and Oneida Counties.
I have seen firsthand the terrible devastation caused by flooding across regions of upstate New York and from the beginning I promised that the State would make sure those who lost everything would not be forgotten, said Governor Cuomo. Today the State is stepping up to cover what the Federal government did not: nearly $16 million in individual assistance for the people whose homes and property were damaged and destroyed. With this financial commitment we are taking the first step in making sure the communities that have lived through weeks of flooding can begin building back better than ever before.
Preliminary surveys indicate that over 500 homes suffered some level of damage, with dozens destroyed. At least 150 business suffered major or minor damage.
While the damage from the recent floods was severe in many communities, the financial and property loss from the floods was below the amount that triggers federal FEMA and other federal assistance. To meet the local needs, the funds for this program are being made available through an appropriation of state funds for emergency purposes made by the legislature this year.
Under the program, homeowners, small business owners and farmers or farm operations located in the designated counties may be eligible to receive grants, subject to the documentation of flood-related damage and uninsured losses. Homeowners may be eligible for up to $31,900 in assistance. Small business owners and farmers or farm operations may be eligible for up to $50,000 in assistance.
For homeowners, eligible costs include the repair and/or replacement of damage to roofs, windows, doors, siding, flooring, drywall, insulation, foundations, well and septic systems, electric systems, fuel tanks, heating and water systems, and appliances, as well as remediation of environmental hazards. Homeowners whose properties were destroyed by these floods may also be eligible for a buyout of their damaged property.
For businesses, eligible costs include reimbursement for losses to inventory, equipment, materials, fixtures and furniture; as well as design, construction, rehabilitation or reconstruction of flood damaged structures.
For farms, funding is available for emergency funding to help with farm capital repair and replacement needs.
A breakdown of aid by county is listed below:
For additional information on the NYS Flood Recovery Program, and application materials, please visit: http://www.nyshcr.org/Programs/NYS-Flood. Affected homeowners, businesses, and farms can also call the NYS Flood Helpline at 1-888-769-7243 for information on how to receive assistance under the NYS Flood recovery program. The NYS Flood Helpline is available from 8:00 a.m. 8:00 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, Natural disasters and heavy rains are becoming more and more of the norm in New York State. When a storm hits, everyone and everything is affected homeowners, schools, businesses, parks, bridges and roadways. It is imperative that we move swiftly, directing funds to disaster relief, ensuring homeowners and businesses receive the financial assistance they so desperately need.
Senator Hugh T. Farley said, The Flood Recovery Program will provide much-needed financial assistance to property owners and businesses in the Mohawk Valley that suffered terrible damages from the recent flooding. I appreciate the Governor's actions and I look forward to working with him and my Senate colleagues to update the states natural disaster playbook to ensure that we are prepared to respond to future storms.
Senator James L. Seward said, The people of New York State have suffered through a tremendous number of natural disasters in recent years. While the federal response has been uneven at best, the state has acted quickly and appropriately, partnering with local governments, homeowners, and businesses to help with a coordinated rebuilding effort. This funding announcement is a continuation of our comprehensive effort. I appreciate the governors attentiveness to this issue and look forward to working with him and other state officials further to fully redevelop our overall disaster readiness and response.
Senator Joseph A. Griffo said, Governor Cuomo has shown to be a responsive and decisive leader in response to natural disasters in the State. The residents and employers of the Mohawk Valley will get some sorely needed assistance from the state. We will continue to work together to develop a State process that can enable fiscally responsible relief when federal policy decisions affect the way we initiate recovery and rebuilding.
Senator David J. Valesky said, I commend the Governor for taking swift action to provide recovery funds to residents who have lost houses and property as a result of the recent flooding. Many people will not be able to return to their homes due to extensive damage, and others face substantial rebuilding costs that are not covered by insurance. I look forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues in the legislature to help flood victims get the assistance they need.
Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk said, "Having worked closely over the last three weeks with local officials, first responders and small business owners in Fort Plain, it is clear that they need funding immediately in order to recover from the floods. The Governor's plan is the fastest way to provide these critical resources, and I applaud his commitment and quick response."
Assemblyman William Magee said, Plain and simple, the homeowners who have been affected by unrelenting flooding and water damage need relief and they need it now. We must work quickly to provide aid so families can begin rebuilding their homes and returning some normalcy to their lives. Setting up a state disaster relief fund is an effective way to rebuild our communities and ensure that families are not bearing an overwhelming amount of the financial burden that comes along with the recovery process.
Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi said, When we learned that FEMA funds would not be available to individuals, we were all frustrated and disappointed. Governor Cuomo turned that frustration into results by making state funds available to those who were affected by the destructive flooding in our area. Mohawk Valley families lost more than just their homes and personal belongings they lost peace of mind. It is the job of a public official to restore that peace of mind, and I am proud to say we are doing that today.
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, I applaud Governor Cuomos swift decision to provide individual aid for Mohawk Valley families who have suffered unimaginable losses due to recent flooding. While Im disappointed in FEMAs decision, I stand with the governor, ready to provide support to our friends and neighbors so they can begin the rebuilding process and restore some sense of normalcy to their lives.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said, Todays announcement is tremendous news for our residents who lost so much during the flooding. Since the day the flood waters began causing destruction in our community, Governor Cuomo was here on the ground, ensuring that every available resource was here to help keep New Yorkers safe and help us recover. The Governor promised that if the federal government didnt do its part in covering the damage our homeowners suffered, that the state would be here for us, and today he is delivering on that promise.
Vincent Jim Bono, Chairman of the Herkimer County Board of Supervisors, said, Governor Cuomo has brought the best news that our residents have heard in a long time. He promised that the state would be here if the federal government didnt deliver, and today he is making good on that pledge. Our homeowners and businesses need help, and that is exactly what this program delivers for them. We thank the governor for being here today and bringing this great news.
John Thayer, Chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, said, New York State is a state that cares about its residents, and nowhere is that more clear than todays announcement. We praise the Governor for immediately coming to bat for our communities after it became clear that the federal government wouldnt deliver funding for our homeowners. This money will be great news for farms, businesses, and residents as we put our lives back together following the floods.
John Becker, Chairman of the Madison County Board of Supervisors said, Governor Cuomo has stepped up to the plate in a big way for our communities. When FEMA sent word that the funds were not coming, the Governor followed through on his promise that the state would not leave our residents who lost so much out in the cold. We thank the Governor for being here today and launching this program that will bring much needed financial support to our homeowners, families, businesses, and farms.
William Ross, Chairman of the Niagara County Legislature said, Today Governor Cuomo has shown us exactly what government is all about helping people in need. Our community was shaken by the vast damage that resulted from the flooding of the last month, but we will be building back stronger than ever before. The Governors delivery of financial assistance to do so will go a long way toward a more resilient Niagara County.
Ilion Mayor John Stephens said, This flood recovery program will be critical to helping our hard hit communities in the Mohawk Valley get back on their feet. This funding will go a long way in helping affected business owners, homeowners and farmers cover significant costs and recover from the devastation caused by this unprecedented flooding. I thank the Governor for stepping up time after time on behalf of New Yorkers.
Little Falls Mayor Robert Peters said, "Our residents were stunned and outraged to hear news that FEMA would not provide assistance to homeowners that lost so much during the flooding. We are grateful that we have a governor that will not let our communities down. This program will give our businesses, residents, and farms that lost so much the chance to recover and rebuild. We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and helping our communities recover from these devastating floods.
Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker said, The flooding that our communities have endured over the past few weeks has been truly devastating to so many residents and businesses. Thankfully Governor Cuomo has been with us every step of the way and worked swiftly to organize state aid for the many individuals who are not covered under FEMAs allocation. I applaud the Governors leadership for our community, and look forward to the rebuilding process.
A. Max Smith, Acting Mayor of the City of Oneida, said, The damage caused by the recent flooding in our region was terrible it was physical, emotional and financial. The program the Governor is announcing today will address the financial needs of hard hit New Yorkers, by providing much needed funds for business and homeowner recovery and rebuilding. I thank him for stepping up to the plate and taking quick action to help our community.
Village of Herkimer Mayor Mark Ainsworth said, The past month has brought a recurring series of challenges to the residents of Herkimer, but Governor Cuomo has been a steadfast advocate for the needs of our community through all of it. From his regular visits and briefings to todays announcement, Herkimer has been fortunate to have had his help. I thank the Governor for standing with our residents and businesses not only through the storm, but in the days that have come after.
Village of Frankfort Mayor Frank Morocco said, In recent weeks, our community has experienced some of the worst weather in the history of this region, destroying our homes, infrastructure and businesses. The path to recovery will be tough, but this flood recovery program will provide us with the aid we need to begin rebuilding the homes, businesses and lives affected here in the Mohawk Valley. Governor Cuomo has our thanks for his support during this time of difficulty.
German Flatts Supervisor Frank Spatto said, The State has been a real partner to our community during these recent weeks. While the flooding has stopped, our families and businesses are only just starting to recover. But with this recovery program, we have the assistance to build back better and stronger than before. This was made possible by the leadership of Governor Cuomo, and I thank him and his team for their commitment to the Mohawk Valley region.
Minden Supervisor Tom Quackenbush said, The flooding in the last few weeks was truly a natural disaster here in the Mohawk Valley, turning the lives of our residents upside down in a matter of days. But with this program, we can now begin to recover and rebuild thanks to the swift efforts of the Governor, who has acted quickly to find room in the states budget so that no New Yorker gets left behind in the storm. During these hard times, it is heartening to know that we have a true advocate for our community in Albany.
New Hartford Supervisor Patrick Tyksinski said, The waters may have receded from our roads and fields, but for many people in New Hartford the daunting task of rebuilding is only just beginning. Governor Cuomo has made it clear that we would not face that challenge alone, and with todays announcement he has proven that state government is here to serve the people. I applaud the Governors swift response both in the days during the floods and after and look forward to working to building a stronger New Hartford.
Kirkland Supervisor Bob Meelan said, Mother Nature has not been kind to the Town of Kirkland recently. The damaging floods of the past few weeks have uprooted homes, businesses, and lives. Yet despite this unfortunate reality we can look forward to building back as a stronger community thanks to Governor Cuomo. His work to secure state funding to aid home and business owners is a building block for a resilient Kirkland, and I am pleased to have worked alongside him for the benefit of our region.
The NYS Flood Recovery Program is a coordinated effort by the NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NYS DHSES), NYS Homes and Community Renewal (NYS HCR) and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYS DAM).