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Congresswoman Claudia Tenney Calls on President Trump to Issue Disaster Declaration

New York’s 22nd District Sustained $14.4 Million in Damages from Summer Flooding

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New Hartford, N.Y., September 5, 2017 | comments
Today, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) urged President Trump to issue a disaster declaration in response to flooding which began in early July and caused significant damage throughout 15 Upstate counties including the counties of Broome, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Tioga, and Oneida in the 22nd District. On August 31, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo officially requested a major disaster declaration for the State of New York. This designation is being requested following extensive collaboration between state and local agencies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assess the scope and cost of the damage.

“Uncharacteristically high levels of rainfall along with severe flash flooding, strong winds, and tornadoes caused significant and costly damage to homes, infrastructure, and small businesses. Sustained flooding due to excessive rainfall has been especially damaging, with some localities having received rainfall amounts that exceeded 150 percent of normal precipitation levels. A significant portion of this damage, more than $14.4 million, occurred in New York’s 22nd District. In Oneida County alone, damage exceeded $7 million. Cleanup efforts will be costly for property owners and municipalities alike. A federal disaster declaration will help families and municipalities recover from this summer’s extreme weather and excessive flooding. The scope of damage is beyond the response capabilities of state and local governments, which warrants targeted federal recovery assistance,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “Our office has been deeply involved with recovery efforts since the start of the flooding in early July. We have visited numerous homes and businesses, been in direct contact with more than 100 impacted residents and have passed several individual damage assessments along to FEMA and state officials.”

Each of the 15 counties under the proposed disaster declaration met their per capita damage threshold and the State of New York exceeded its disaster threshold by $2.7 million. Underscoring the need for assistance is the fact that a significant portion of the damage is centered in economically distressed areas with large populations of elderly and low-income individuals.

Additionally, on August 18, Rep. Tenney hosted a Flood Summit for local elected officials and representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA, which was an opportunity for all parties to learn more about flood recovery and mitigation efforts. Local elected officials consistently voiced their strong need for increased assistance from the federal government to meet the high recovery and mitigation costs.

The full text of the letter can be found below.



September 5, 2017



President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, D.C. 20500



Dear President Trump,



I write today with an urgent request for federal assistance following devastating flooding in upstate New York this summer. On August 31, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo officially requested a major disaster declaration for the State of New York in response to this flooding, which began in early July and has caused significant damage throughout 15 Upstate counties. This designation is being requested following extensive collaboration between state and local agencies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assess the scope and cost of the damage. In light of their findings, I urge you to issue this declaration as soon as possible to provide relief and assistance to those families and individuals who have been negatively impacted.



This summer saw a series of extreme weather events devastate large portions of upstate New York, including the counties of Broome, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Tioga, and Oneida, which I represent in Congress. Uncharacteristically high levels of rainfall along with severe flash flooding, strong winds, and tornadoes caused significant and costly damage to homes, infrastructure, and small businesses. Sustained flooding due to excessive rainfall has been especially damaging, with some localities having received rainfall amounts that exceeded 150 percent of normal precipitation levels. The National Weather Service identified more than 60 reports of flash flooding in this 15-county area over a period of one month, with at least 116 reports of severe thunderstorms.



The Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment ordered by Governor Cuomo and comprising of state and federal disaster relief and recovery experts estimates more than $30 million in costs to the state and municipalities for infrastructure improvements, debris removal, and home repairs following this extreme weather. A significant portion of this damage, more than $14.4 million, occurred in New York’s 22nd District. In Oneida County alone, damage exceeded $7 million. Importantly, each of the 15 counties under the proposed disaster declaration met their per capita damage threshold and the State of New York exceeded its disaster threshold by $2.7 million. Underscoring the need for assistance is the fact that a significant portion of the damage is centered in economically distressed areas with large populations of elderly and low-income individuals.



My office has been deeply involved with recovery efforts since the start of the flooding in early July. We have been in direct contact with more than 100 impacted residents and have passed several individual damage assessments along to FEMA and state officials. On August 18, 2017, I hosted a Flood Summit for local elected officials and representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA, which was an opportunity for all parties to learn more about flood recovery and mitigation efforts. Local elected officials consistently voiced their strong need for increased assistance from the federal government to meet the high recovery and mitigation costs.



A federal disaster declaration will help families and municipalities recover from this summer’s extreme weather and excessive flooding. As the Governor’s assessment makes clear, the scope of damage is beyond the response capabilities of state and local governments, which warrants targeted federal recovery assistance. I thank you for your service to our Nation and for your consideration of this important matter, which impacts the livelihoods of Upstate residents.



Sincerely,



CLAUDIA TENNEY

Member of Congress
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