Officials in central New York on Friday sought to appeal the decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to not provide further relief aid to areas affected by flooding in October.
FEMA did provide public assistance for damages to municipal infrastructure, but individual assistance was denied.
“These are people who have been dealt setback after setback and are at the ends of their ropes,” Republican Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump.
“Many are desperate to be set free from their plight and were counting on this federal funding to come through and remove the heavy burden of these uninhabitable and unsellable homes once and for all.”
On the federal level, Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik also blasted the FEMA decision. Her district in the North Country covers a portion of the affected area.
“I am extremely disappointed by FEMA’s decision to deny individual assistance to flood victims after approving federal public assistance that my office worked to deliver,” she said.
“I have spoken with numerous families in our district who have lost their homes and their businesses. The impact of the Halloween storms has been devastating to our region and the livelihood of many families. My office will immediately work to ensure we address this devastating news directly with FEMA and advocate for families of New York’s 21st District to get the relief and support they deserve.”
Updated: Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement called the denial of individual assistance by FEMA “unacceptable.”
“It is unacceptable that the federal government has denied our request for individual assistance for the residents affected by the Halloween 2019 storm and I’m demanding the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide a detailed explanation on the denial,” he said.
“FEMA needs to step up, do the right thing and help these people restore and rebuild their lives and homes. The agency’s sole mission is to help communities dealing with disasters and a one-sentence denial is woefully inadequate and does nothing to offer hope for these families. We will be appealing this denial.”