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The Times
  • Seward: National Guard will provide immediate aid, assistance

  • State Senator James Seward met with elected Herkimer County officials, emergency responders and other local leaders Wednesday morning at the Herkimer County Emergency Communication Center to discuss the flood recovery, community needs moving forward and state resources necessary to assist in the response.

    He also met with National Grid officials and toured flood stricken areas of the county.

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  • State Senator James Seward met with elected Herkimer County officials, emergency responders and other local leaders Wednesday morning at the Herkimer County Emergency Communication Center to discuss the flood recovery, community needs moving forward and state resources necessary to assist in the response.
    He also met with National Grid officials and toured flood stricken areas of the county.
    During the briefing Seward said he informed officials Gov. Andrew Cuomo deployed 250 National Guard members to help residents and businesses impacted by the flood.
    “The National Guard members along with 27 pieces of heavy equipment will be deployed to affected areas to help with debris removal and security,” said Seward, R – Milford, at the National Grid Mobile Emergency Operations Center in Herkimer.
    He said the National Guard will assist residents, businesses and first responders in a number of ways, including debris removal and light road repair with equipment that will include excavators, dump trucks and bulldozers. He also said 35 military police soldiers and Humvees will assist local police with security and presence patrols.
    “The National Guard members will provide immediate aid and assistance on the ground,” said Seward. “They are a great resource to have in our hardest hit communities.”
    The senator also said Cuomo deployed the state Department of Financial Services’ Mobile Command Center to Herkimer County to help homeowners and businesses affected by the flood. He said DFS representatives will assist residents with insurance-related issues stemming from damage caused the recent heavy rains.
    “The Department of Financial Services is here to help families and businesses swiftly receive the relief they deserve from their insurance companies,” said Seward.
    Impacted families and business are urged to call the DFS disaster hotline for assistance at 1-800-339-1759, which is available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline will remain open on July 4 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Touring the village of Mohawk with Herkimer County Sheriff Christopher Farber and Herkimer County Emergency Management Director Robert Vandawalker Wednesday afternoon Seward met with people on Catherine Street and at the Mohawk Fire Department. Among the residents he met were Diane Brown and Terrence Stern.
    “I’ve been here 37 years and it’s by far the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Brown, adding at the height of the flooding the water was up to her waist.
    “It came so fast. There was no warning,” added Stern. “There was nothing we could do.”
    Brown said she has been without electricity since the floodwaters raced down Catherine Street last Friday. “But I do have water. Someone was able to help me with that,” she said. “We just try to do the best we can every day to get through this.”
    Page 2 of 2 - “We’ll get there, we’ll get there, but it’s going to take time,” Mohawk Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dan Mabbett said about the recovery effort as he met with Seward.
    Little Falls Mayor Robert Peters also met with Seward on Wednesday.
    “The message to residents is to keep every receipt for repair materials and services and mark it ‘Flood of 2013,’” said Peters during a telephone interview. “The more organized residents are now, the better off they will be when the Federal Emergency Management Agency begins the reimbursement process. Document and keep everything.”
    Peters also said city garbage collection will continue as scheduled, but asked residents to keep flood debris separate from their regular garbage and trash.
    “The flood debris will be collected, but it will be collected separately so the city can keep a record of the amount so it can be reimbursed by FEMA,” he said.
    Manheim Town Supervisor John Haughton said residents in Manheim and village of Dolgeville may bring their flood debris to the town transfer station on Saturday.
    “A lot of people have been asking if the transfer center will be open this weekend, and it will be,” he said during a telephone interview.
    “We are addressing the short term, but I believe we also must address the long term, which includes addressing Moyer, Fulmer and Steele creeks, because it seems every year or so these creeks flood and cause problems in our communities,” said Seward. “We need to address these creeks now to prevent future flooding.”

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