FORT PLAIN, N.Y. – Following the approval by President Barack Obama of the state's request for federal Public Assistance aid for counties affected by recent flooding, Congressman Chris Gibson visited Fort Plain Saturday to receive an update on recovery efforts in the area.
The announcement that several upstate counties would receive federal aid came Friday, but Gibson said the President and FEMA had not yet made a decision regarding Individual Assistance (IA).
"IA is a critical piece of ensuring individuals affected have the resources they need to recover," Gibson said in a statement. "Our New York delegation reaffirmed our support of IA in a letter to FEMA today and my office has been in contact with the White House explaining the necessity of this aid."
Counties eligible for Public Assistance include Allegany, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Otsego, and Warren counties. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. Public Assistance is for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
One flood victim wasn't going to let Congressman Chris Gibson leave the press conference without hearing what he had to say about individual assistance for residents like him.
"There's real people here that are technically homeless. This is a shell. This is a shell," said Kern Bridgewater.
Coolers of food now replace Bridgewater's kitchen, the walls of his home stripped down, and mud covered floors remain.
"We're as far as we can go at this point. This is what's going to remain until," said Bridgewater.
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