Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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July 18, 2013

State to help flood victims

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Tucker said he expects to learn the particulars of the aid — who exactly is eligible for it, and how the claims process will work — at the conference.

“I’m encouraged by what I heard today, I’m just not sure what it all means yet,” he said. “By (tonight) I should know a lot more.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Wednesday that he’s continuing to urge the state to appeal FEMA’s decision not to provide assistance to private property owners. He calls that decision wrongheaded.

“I’m very glad the state is stepping in as far as homeowners are concerned,” Schumer said. His office is contacting local officials to double check reports of “significant damage” to homes and businesses which could reverse FEMA’s decision, he added. But he said only the state can appeal.

Cuomo said he felt FEMA was wrong in its decision but he hasn’t appealed.

Across upstate, more than 500 homes were damaged to some degree and dozens were destroyed, while at least 150 businesses have major or minor damage after recent flooding events, according to Cuomo. Homeowners are eligible for up to $31,900 in grants and loans, while small business owners and farmers are eligible for up to $50,000 in aid.

The aid will cover damage to roofs, windows, doors, siding, flooring, drywall, insulation, foundations, well and septic systems, electric systems, fuel tanks, heating and water systems, and appliances, and to address environmental hazards.

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Unaware of Cuomo’s announcement, members of the Common Council on Wednesday briefly debated the issue of whether to continue encouraging homeowners to file flood damage-related notices of claim against the city. Mayor Tucker encouraged the filings originally to compile a list of affected properties in the event FEMA would consider aid for them, and as of Tuesday, 55 notices had been received by the city clerk.

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