New York representatives ask for upstate flooding assistance

A bipartisan group of New York House members recently asked President Barack Obama to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s request for a major disaster declaration following severe flooding in upstate New York.

Members seeking Obama’s action on the matter include New York Reps. Richard Hanna (R), Chris Gibson (R), Bill Owens (D), Paul Tonko (D) and Tom Reed (R). Each congressman signed his name to a letter sent to Obama on Tuesday.

The flooding occurred on June 27 and 28, severely damaging homes and businesses throughout upstate New York. Significant infrastructure damage and debris removal costs have been added to local and state government budgets that are already hurt, according to the letter.

“We can attest to the extensive damage impacting homes, businesses and local infrastructure in the flooded areas and the serious personal losses experienced by local residents,” the members said. “Many families have been displaced from their homes, and local businesses have been devastated. Meanwhile, local governments are struggling to find funding to repair roads, culverts, bridges and other infrastructure damaged or destroyed. Without assistance from the federal government, many local leaders question how they will be able to make necessary repairs, the cost of which far exceeds local resources.”

The declaration would provide federal assistance for local governments, businesses and individuals to rebuild. The affected counties include Broome, Chenango, Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Warren.