Tue, Jul 2nd 2013 10:00 am
State and federal officials are rallying behind Lockport in the aftermath of last weekend's flooding that caused an estimated seven million dollars in damage.
New York State Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy said on Tuesday morning at Widewaters Marina that Gov. Cuomo has added Niagara County to the state declared disaster area after Friday's storm.
Cuomo issued a declaration last week for 15 counties throughout Central New York, but adding Niagara into that mix will aloow for FEMA agents to quickly assess the damage and hopefully help to secure federal relief assistance.
Duffy was joined by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, State Senator George Maziarz, Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker and Lockport Common Council President Anne McCaffrey on Tuesday morning to discuss the damage.
Schumer said with the 600-plus homes that needed to be pumped out, he expects FEMA to move quickly in helping.
"There's been a tradition with the federal government that is when the hand of God strikes, no locality can do this on its own," Schumer said. "The people of Lockport, the city of Lockport, even the county of Niagara don't have the resources to get back in shape quickly enough.
"For decades Western New Yorkers have sent money when there were floods in the Missouri Valley or hurricanes in Florida or forest fires in the West. Now when we have damage, we expect the same kind of help."
Tucker echoed Schumer's sentiment, saying this was unlike anything else he's been through as mayor.
"While this flooding, the worst that I've ever seen in Lockport in decades, has caused millions of dollars in damage to the city, I was not at all surprised when I saw the way our community came together to help those affected," Tucker said.
FEMA teams will be on hand in the near future to start assessing areas in and around the city, including the waste water treatment plant. Schumer said that plant will need a complete overhaul.