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Counties receive state flood aid

By Traci DeLore


A little flood relief is on the way now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state will cover the local share of disaster response and recovery costs resulting from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) usually covers 75 percent of eligible costs, with the state and local municipalities sharing the remaining 25 percent. With this announcement, the state will make $61 million available to 25 counties to cover costs associated with emergency shelters; road, water-system, and infrastructure repairs; stream and riverbed mitigation; and other cleanup projects.

Area counties receiving state funding include: Broome, $9.4 million; Chemung, $1.6 million; Chenango, $1.6 million; Herkimer, $166,516; Oneida, $430,274; Otsego, $1.5 million; Tioga, $7.2 million; and Tompkins, $353,918.

“Our area was hit hard by flooding and by its after effects, which our local governments are struggling to afford,” State Sen. Thomas Libous (R-C-I-Binghamton) said. “Many municipalities are faced with doing nothing or raising property taxes to cover the local share of the recovery.”

“This federal aid will save local taxpayers from having to pick up the costs of rebuilding what was lost after Irene’s destruction,” Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) said.

Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused widespread damage across the state last August and September. The total storm recovery cleanup costs will likely exceed $1.6 billion and involve approximately 15,000 separate response and recovery projects.


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