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Deadline approaching for flood relief dollars in South Seneca

Senator Pam Helming is reminding local homeowners that they have until Monday, February 4th to apply for grant funding through New York State’s residential assistance program for damage related to the flooding disaster that struck southern Seneca County in August 2018.

The program includes $13 million to support primary homeowners whose damages exceed insurance claims and other available aid. With maximum awards of $50,000, the grant will cover reimbursements to support repair and restoration of structures and other physical damage. Covered repairs include foundations, heating systems, electric systems, wells and septic systems, insulation, and flooring.

“Last summer’s flooding disaster devastated families and homes in the Towns of Lodi, Ovid, and Covert. My heart still breaks for the people whose lives were impacted and properties destroyed by this terrible tragedy. We are grateful to the many volunteer firefighters, emergency personnel, National Guardsman, State Troopers, Sheriff’s deputies, EMT’s, and other first responders who immediately sprang into action. We are also thankful for the community members who stepped up to help their neighbors put the pieces back together in the aftermath. Meanwhile, I continue to work with state and local officials to assist in the recovery process and bring state resources to those impacted by this flooding. I encourage homeowners who were affected by this disaster to apply for this funding so already so that they can repair and restore their properties. I thank Bishop Sheen for their help in delivering this relief,” Senator Helming said.

Bishop Sheen is administering the program for Seneca County. Homeowners seeking to receive or submit an application should contact Bishop Sheen at (585) 657-4114, [email protected], or Homeowners who applied for federal funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s loan program may also apply for state funding through this program.  Also, Catholic Charities is offering financial help to homeowners and renters to recoup necessities that were lost in the flooding. 

Bishop Sheen Executive Director Allynn Smith said, “Bishop Sheen is committed to providing our communities with the housing assistance homeowners need to rebuild after this flooding disaster. We are grateful for New York State and Senator Helming’s ongoing support. The February 4 program deadline is fast approaching. Please contact us directly if you have questions or need assistance with the application.”

Communities in southern Seneca County, including the Towns of Lodi, Ovid, and Covert, were impacted by severe storms and flash flooding that occurred between August 13 and August 15. National Weather Service data indicates this area received between 10 and 20 inches of rain during the 30-day period leading up to the flooding disaster. When the August storms struck with heavy rainfall and strong winds, they combined with the saturated ground to produce flash floods and significant damage.

In addition to the state’s residential assistance program, President Trump approved a major disaster declaration, making funding available to the state government, eligible local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations. The funds are available on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by these severe storms.