FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2011
SCHUMER PERSONALLY PRESSES FEMA ADMINISTRATOR TO DELIVER PUBLIC ASSISTANCE TO HELP ONEIDA COUNTY MAKE MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE REPAIRS
Schumer Toured Flooding Damage From Second Tropical Storm That Hit Utica Roads, Businesses & Homes Throughout The Region
In Personal Phone Call With Administrator Fugate, Schumer Presses FEMA To Quickly Grant Oneida County’s Request For Public Assistance – Funds Would Help Repair Public Buildings and Infrastructure Including Retaining Wall On Brookline Drive
After Phone Call, Schumer Optimistic Flood Aid Is On Its Way
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he has personally called FEMA Administrator Fugate, asking him to grant public assistance to Oneida County as quickly as possible, now that the official request has been submitted by the state. In September, Schumer toured Sauquoit Street in the village of Whitesboro as well as damaged homes in the area, alongside Whitesboro Mayor Brenda Gilberti, Utica Mayor David Roefaro, Oneida County Executive Picente and county emergency management personnel. During a tour of the damage, Schumer spoke with local officials about the federal government’s assistance thus far, and was fully briefed on the community’s additional needs from the federal government.
“When I visited Whitesboro, I saw firsthand just how much damage this storm heaped upon our roads, bridges, and other infrastructure,” said Schumer. “With the damage to public property hitting nearly one million dollars, it’s clear that the federal government needs to step up and cover its fair share. I told all of that to Administrator Fugate and I’m confident he got the message. I’m hopeful that FEMA is going to deliver this aid quickly, so that the county can get its money back as it makes critical repairs to the infrastructure that is the lifeblood of the Central New York economy.”
Public assistance is federal aid made available to public and certain nonprofit entities for emergency services and the repair or replacement of public facilities damaged in a natural disaster. Qualifying municipalities and entities can use public assistance funding for debris removal and cleanup, emergency protective measures to save lives and prevent further property damage following a storm and to repair washed out and heavily damaged roads and bridges. Local governments can also utilize this source of funding to repair water control facilities including dams and levees, to repair public buildings and equipment damaged from the storm, repair utilities, and repair or restore public parks and other recreational facilities.
Since the September tour of Central New York flood damage, Schumer has successfully pushed for Oneida County residents and businesses to become eligible for individual assistance. FEMA's individual assistance program includes range of programs, including home repair, temporary housing, grants for serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance or other assistance programs.
“Administrator Fugate and his FEMA team have been working tirelessly to make Central New York whole again after the floods,” continued Schumer. “They stepped up to the plate and delivered the aid that homeowners and businesses need, it’s time for them to do the same so that we can get our roads and bridges back in fully working order.”