Bishop meets with FEMA to again try to secure relief for flood damage

06/10/2010 12:00 AM |

Congressman Tim Bishop has vowed to continue the fight for Long Island municipalities to receive federal money to cover expenses incurred in the devastating aftermath of the March 29 and 30 storm.
Last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Governor David Paterson’s request to amend the March 13 through 15 nor’easter disaster declaration to include the late March storm, a move that would have made federal money available to Suffolk County and local towns.
Mr. Paterson is expected to appeal that decision within a week.
Mr. Bishop met with FEMA and the State Emergency Management Office officials Thursday to facilitate the anticipated appeal process.
“The meeting was constructive, and laid out a path for New York to draft an appeal to ensure Long Island receives the assistance it clearly deserves,” Mr. Bishop said.  “FEMA was very helpful in providing SEMO with the information they need to construct the most comprehensive appeal request possible.”
Municipalities across Suffolk County have already submitted $6.6 million in claims for reimbursement though that number is expected to climb, Mr. Bishop said.
Riverhead officials have estimated that the town has spent more than $400,000 to pump out flooded roads and other cleanup efforts after the storm.
On Shelter Island, the estimated cost is expected to reach $75,000.
Mr. Bishop has said that in addition to reimbursing municipalities, an ammended declaration would increase the amount of federal mitigation money available to fund long-term fixes for flood prone areas, such as the devastated Horton Avenue in Riverhead,  including relocating and elevating homes.
It would not, however, make individual grants available to homeowners whose homes sustained flood or other damages.
vchinese@timesreview.com

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