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State, county expand flood assistance

Posted 11/8/19

With recovery from the Halloween flooding continuing, Oneida County is making housing help available, and the state has established nine Disaster Assistance Services Centers throughout the Mohawk …

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State, county expand flood assistance

Posted

With recovery from the Halloween flooding continuing, Oneida County is making housing help available, and the state has established nine Disaster Assistance Services Centers throughout the Mohawk Valley in order to provide residents affected by last week’s severe weather with critical recovery services being offered by State, County and Non-Profit organizations.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced late Thursday that while residents are still able to report damage and request services by calling 2-1-1, the nine centers will provide direct, face-to-face contact with agency representatives to help streamline the delivery of services. The centers are being established as specialists from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services are actively working with local partners to complete damage assessments of public infrastructure which are necessary in order to apply for federal disaster aid.

“As the Mohawk Valley continues to recover from the recent storm, we are making sure households in the region have easy access to the essential services they need to get by,” Cuomo said. “The disaster assistance centers that we have set up will connect people with trained staff who can assist them in this critical time while we continue to work with local responders to address the damage in public areas.”    

Among the nine centers are two in Oneida County that will be in operation today and Saturday with one at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus, 100 Seymour Ave. in Marcy and another at the Whitesboro Fire Department, 171 Oriskany Blvd.

Inside each Disaster Assistance Services Center residents will have the ability to work directly with representatives from the State Department of Financial Services, Office of Children and Family Services, Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Department of Labor, Office of Mental Health, Department of Health, Office of People with Developmental Disabilities, and the Office for the Aging, along with the American Red Cross. Representatives will be able to assist affected New Yorkers with a multitude of
emergency response, health, housing, human service, insurance and labor-related issues.

Hotel vouchers are available upon request from the Oneida County Department of Social Services at these locations:

• Whitesboro Fire Department, 171 Oriskany Blvd., Whitesboro.
• West Canada Creek Estates,12275 State Route 28, in the town of Deerfield.
• Willowvale Fire Department, 3459 Oneida St., Chadwicks
• The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, 2608 Genesee St., Utica

The county’s disaster assistance centers will remain open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until today, Nov. 8. The Whitesboro site will also be open from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 12-14.

Flood victims can apply for the $500,000 County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. has made available for home and business repairs at the centers or by calling 2-1-1 or the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties at 315-735-8212.

Municipalities seeking a portion of the $500,000 should contact the Oneida County Department of Public Works.

The Oneida County Departments of Health, Mental Health, Social Services and Office for Aging and Continuing Care will continue to provide emergency and support services at each center.

Phone charging stations are available at the Whitesboro, Deerfield and Chadwicks centers, and Picente said that portable showers are now available at the corner of Main Street and Ablett Avenue in Whitesboro and at the West Canada Creek Estates, which also has portable bathrooms.

“With the temperature predicted to drop over the next few days, I urge anyone whose home is currently without power, heat or water to call 2-1-1 or report to one of our disaster assistance centers to obtain shelter through the county,” Picente said. “There is no reason anyone should have to go cold or hungry during this difficult time. We can put you in a safe place immediately.”

Meanwhile, the state Department of Financial Services personnel will staff a mobile command unit in Herkimer County between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Sunday to help residents and business owners file insurance claims as needed. The Herkimer County unit will be at the Newport Fire Department.

Residents who are not able to visit the mobile command center can call the Department’s Disaster Hotline at 800-339-1759, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. for help with insurance related issues.

The Department of Transportation said that all 118 road closures that were impacted on the state system have been re-opened with at least one alternate lane. DOT crews and emergency contractors will continue to perform restoration work until all roads are fully open.

The New York Power Authority and the Canal Corporation continue to assess damage to assets and will collaborate with local municipalities on any necessary repair and rebuilding efforts that are identified. The Canal Corporation is planning work to fortify an embankment on Moyer Creek in Frankfort.

Last week, Cuomo declared a state of emergency for Cayuga, Chautauqua, Cortland, Dutchess, Erie, Essex, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Saratoga, Warren and Jefferson Counties as heavy rains and 70-mph winds caused flooding and power outages throughout most of the state.

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