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Congresswoman Claudia Tenney: Disappointed in FEMA’s Denial of Major Disaster Declaration for July Flooding Across Upstate New York

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Washington, December 6, 2017 | comments

New Hartford, NY—Today, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) expressed deep disappointment in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) denial of a major disaster declaration in response to severe 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. 

“A federal disaster declaration would have gone a long way to help families and municipalities recover from this summer’s extreme weather and excessive flooding. I am deeply disappointed that FEMA has denied this request for federal assistance, and I will support an immediate appeal of this decision,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “Our office has been involved with recovery efforts since the start of the flooding in early July. We visited numerous homes and businesses, were in direct contact with more than 100 impacted residents and passed several individual damage assessments along to FEMA and state officials. Seeing these properties firsthand, I know that the scope of damage is beyond the response capabilities of state and local governments, and should warrant targeted federal recovery assistance.”

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.

Congresswoman Tenney continued, “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.”

Immediately following Governor Cuomo’s August 31 request for a major disaster declaration, Rep. Tenney sent a letter to the President urging federal assistance. 


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