Flood Update, Tuesday, July 4, 2006

     BINGHAMTON, NY - Most of this stuff is from yesterday's update but since there are not many updates, I want to reinforce that this is the status of things at this time. Unless something dramatic happens today, you will not receive updates later this afternoon. I will be checking messages all day.

  • Preliminary estimates on homes destroyed and damaged; With only about 50-75% of Broome County assessed, 800 homes destroyed and almost 300 severely damaged.
  • It is still way too early for a complete dollar amount for damage estimates but according to Broome County Emergency Services Director Mike Aswad, at a minimum, we are looking at $175-million. Again this is at a minimum and this preliminary!
  • If you do not live in a flood impacted area, do not go to a flood impacted area! Only residents are allowed in these areas. Onlookers are simply creating a public safety hazard.
  • If you have any suspicions of price gouging, contact the New York State Attorney General's Office. Southern Tier: (Broome, Delaware, Chemung, Chenango, Otsego, Tioga, and Tompkins counties) 607.721.8778 or 800.771.7755
  • NYSEG is continuing to distribute limited amounts of dry ice and bottled water at the Vestal Meter Lab on Old Vestal Road and at the intersection of Route 7 and the southern entrance to the Corporate Park. So far, NYSEG reports it has given out 120-thousand pounds or 60 tons of dry ice and 7,000 cases of bottled water.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended its disaster declaration to include individual assistance. Flood victims wanting to find out information about assistance are asked to call 1.800.621.FEMA (1.800.621.3362). Disaster Aid includes rental assistance, home repairs, and other disaster related needs. Low interest loans from the US Small Business Administration are available for those who qualify. Federal/State Disaster Assistance covers basic needs that are not insured. A FEMA office should open in the area soon but that has not happened yet at this hour(to our knowledge).
  • New York State has opened a Disaster Assistance Center at Binghamton High School to aid flood victims with information and limited financial assistance. The center is opened from 8am-8pm. These hours will be every day until further notice. Several agencies will be on hand to assist victims, including NYS Department of Labor, Broome County Social Services Office, NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal, NYS Insurance Department, NYS and Broome County Office of Mental Health, NYS Office of Children and Family Services, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. In the days to come, representatives of the New York State Empire State Development Corporation will be on hand to guide business owners.
  • In addition, New York State has set up a toll free number for flood victims to call to file by phone for assistance. That number is 1.888.769.7243.
  • The Broome County Landfill will be open today from 7am to 5pm and the rest of the week through Saturday from 7am to 5pm. Tipping fees have been waived for flood victims. If you are not a flood victim, please try not to use the landfill until this flood emergency is over. The landfill is extremely busy and the lines are long. There is a need to move the municipal and commercial drivers through as quickly as possible, so again if you don't need to go to the landfill this week, please hold on to your stuff until a later date when things quiet down.
  • Broome County Parks Update
    • Otsiningo-Cleanup continues. Shooting to reopen the park by this weekend.
    • Dorchester Park-Lake level should be normal by early next week. Picnic area hopefully opened by this weekend.
    • Cole Park-Open except for lake and trail around the lake. Lake and trail remain closed until further notice.
    • Greenwood and Roundtop were not impacted and remain fully functional.
  • Boil Water Advisories remain in the Town of Windsor and Conklin. Boil Water Advisories have been lifted for all Endicott water users and the Town of Vestal.
  • The Broome County Bicentennial Triathlon has been postponed. It was to be held at Dorchester Park this weekend but because of the floods, it has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.
  • The Town of Union 4th of July activities at Highland Park have been cancelled. That includes the day activities at the park as well as the fireworks.
  • The Vestal Nursing Center is returning its residents back home, today, Tuesday, July 4th around 9:30am. The residents were moved to the old Vestal Junior High School during last week's floods. If anyone wants information about this move or would be interested in helping, you should call 607.754.4105.
  • The ASPCA in conjunction with the Department of Ag and Markets has wrapped up its animal search and rescue operation in the Broome County area. Any residents with additional animal needs should contact their local dog shelter or animal control agency.
  • The Red Cross shelters were consolidated into one shelter at St. Mary's Recreation Center in Binghamton. There are only a handful of people left that require shelter.
  • The Red Cross is distributing bulk items like personal and home cleaning kits. Distribution centers are located throughout the affected areas. Contact the Red Cross for exact locations.