FORT PLAIN, N.Y. - Congressman Chris Gibson announced Monday the Obama Administration has denied individual assistance for disaster recovery to victims of the recent flooding in Montgomery County, including Fort Plain.
The FEMA Disaster Recovery approved public assistance for localities on Friday. He says that account has more than sufficient funds to cover this damage and other storms.
"It is unacceptable to me that FEMA today denied Individual Assistance to the victims of the recent Upstate flooding," Gibson in a statement on Monday. "Having just been in Fort Plain on Saturday, I cannot express more strongly how critical this aid money is to local residents They need help rebuilding their homes, businesses and lives, and FEMA's decision is flat-out wrong."
Gibson says there is an appeal process that can be utilized and he "will be a tireless advocate for Fort Plain" and will "express to President Obama this is the wrong decision."
Jonathan Bridgewater gave NEWS CENTER a tour of his Fort Plain home Monday, weeks after the devastating flood.
"We had to rip up some of the floors before we could even start to redo the kitchen," he said.
The home where he lived with his parents is now just a shell of what it used to be.
"My father is old and injured his back so it is going to take months to rebuild," said Bridgewater.
Counties eligible for federal Public Assistance approved by President Obama include Allegany, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Otsego, and Warren counties. Public Assistance is for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities.
Governor Cuomo presented the president with data that demonstrated that the damage to public infrastructure had exceeded $32.7 million, well above the state's $26.7 million per capita threshold.
The governor released the following statement Monday:
"Today, FEMA has informed New York State that residents in communities affected by the recent flooding will not be eligible for the Individual Assistance program that would have provided federal funds to help homeowners rebuild and recover. Hundreds of families sustained significant damage to their homes and have had their lives upended. New Yorkers believe in coming together to help each other in times of disaster. We are good neighbors and come to each other's aid. As I have said from the day the flood waters devastated towns and villages across Upstate New York, if federal assistance is not provided, the State of New York will step in to provide whatever is needed so New Yorkers can rebuild their lives and their homes. An effective government is one that serves the people and when disaster strikes is there to help. In this situation, people need help, and you haven't seen anything until you see New Yorkers come together. The state will step up to the plate to ensure that those affected by these floods have the resources and assistance they need to get their lives back together."
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