FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2007
Schumer Announces Over $5.6 Million in Federal Funding Coming to the Town of Conklin and the Town of Union for Flood Damage Repairs
Federal Funds Will Be Used To Implement Hazard Mitigation Projects Within The Floodplain In The Aftermath Of This Summer's Torrential Rains
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded two grants totaling $5,675,625 in federal funding to the New York State Emergency Management Office to be allocated to two Broome County towns, following this past June's torrential rains that resulted in heavy flooding. The Town of Conklin will receive $4,034,850 and the Town of Union will receive $1,640,775 for hazard mitigation projects to restore floodplain land to open space use and remove flood-prone residences along the Susquehanna River banks.
"This is great news for the Town of Conklin and the Town of Union," Schumer said. "This summer's flooding took these communities completely by surprise and left severe damage in its wake. This funding will be used to prevent this kind of damage in the future by restoring the floodplain to its natural function and moving at-risk residencies out of harms way."
In late June of 2006 severe storms dropped torrential rain that resulted in heavy flooding of the Southern Tier, particularly in Broome County. The Susquehanna River overflowed its banks inundating the low lying areas and overwhelmed the flood-prone properties lining the banks. The Town of Conklin will use federal funds for a hazard mitigation project that involves the voluntary acquisition and demolition of several residential properties within the Special Flood Hazard Area of the Susquehanna River. Many of the homes within the floodplain sustained damages from previous flood events, including three major floods since 2004. All of the homes in this acquisition project were substantially damaged or destroyed as a result of the June 2006 flood. The Town of Union will also use federal funds for a hazard mitigation project that involves the voluntary acquisition and demolition of several residential properties within the Susquehanna floodplain. The flood-prone properties are located in the South Endwell and Fairmont Park neighborhoods. In both projects, properties will be acquired, structures demolished, and the lands will be returned to open space use. The lands will be deed restricted and maintained by the Town of Conklin and the Town of Union in perpetuity. By acquiring the proposed properties, both towns will remove property owners and residents from harm's way, restore the natural functions of the floodplain, and reduce future health and safety risks, property damages, and costs associated with emergency rescue services. These funds were allocated as part of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), which provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the HMGP is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.