U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Wednesday $5 million in federal aid for road and infrastructure repair will be provided to a dozen upstate counties slammed by recent flooding.
Schumer said the aid from the Federal Highway Administration’s quick release emergency relief program will help counties repair roads washed out and damaged by severe flooding and heavy rainfall that hit June 28 to July 4.
Quick release emergency funds provided by the Federal Highway Administration are used for a variety of repairs to roads, bridges and tunnels that are immediately necessary.
The emergency relief program provides funds to New York state for the repair or reconstruction of roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events.
“The federal dollars, which come in addition to the public assistance provided last week, will go to repairing federal aid eligible roads, bridges and highways in the impacted counties. This injection of federal dollars is great news and will aid local and municipal governments in their initial repairs, and take a significant burden off local taxpayers. Today is only one of the first steps in a long road to recovery, but it is a significant step, and great news for the upstate counties affected by the flooding,” said Schumer.
“These heavy storms and floods swept away roads and bridges all the way from the Adirondacks to the Mohawk Valley to the Southern Tier,” said Gillibrand. “No one can question the suffering and damage these communities endured. This federal transportation funding is absolutely necessary so we can rebuild our transportation infrastructure, rebuild our communities and stand strong.”
Schumer and Gillibrand said the additional federal funding will be used in counties where Gov. Andrew Cuomo requested a federal disaster declaration.
The disaster area covered Allegany, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Otsego and Warren counties.
Specific uses for the funding will be determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation and New York state. The relief funding is expected to aid repairs to federal aid eligible roads in the impacted counties such as Route 51, Route 168, Route 5, Route 80 and highway and pedestrian bridges over Otsquago Creek.
Flood recovery contact information
• New York State Flood Helpline: 1-888-769-7243 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
• For additional information regarding the Mohawk Valley and 2013 Upstate Flood Recovery Program application process visit www.nyshcr.org/Programs/NYS-Flood or call the state Flood Helpline.
• For information regarding the U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loan information and application forms call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, send an email to email@example.com or visit www.sba.gov/disaster.
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Volunteer opportunities: There is a shortage of volunteers to help residents in Herkimer County who have been affected by last month’s flooding. Individuals and organizations interested in volunteering to help with recovery efforts are asked to call 716-796-1656.
Individuals and organizations interested in volunteering may also call the American Red Cross at 733-4666 and the Salvation Army at 866-1240.
• National Grid: Call 1-800-260-0054 for the inspection program or 1-800-642-4272 for a gas or electric service restart.
• Department of Environmental Conservation: Visit www.dec.ny.gov/permits/89343 or call 793-2555 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for permit information.
For information on a municipality’s debris removal procedures, contact the municipal supervisor or department of public works. For information on those individuals and departments, visit herkimercounty.org/content/Generic/View/5.
In case of emergency, call 911.
Contributing: The Associated Press