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Executive Fiala Urges President to Move Swiftly on Disaster Declaration

BINGHAMTON, NY - Broome County Executive Barbara J. Fiala has written a letter to President George W. Bush asking that he declare Broome County and several other counties disaster areas following the November 16th flash floods. Last Friday, Governor Pataki made the official request for the disaster declaration and now we are waiting for federal action.

The disaster declaration is necessary to get municipalities and individuals the assistance they need for their rebuilding efforts.

“We have municipal damage in the millions and we have hundreds of homes that suffered major to minor flood damage,” said Executive Fiala. “Without the type of federal assistance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency following the June flood, these communities and these families are going to have an extremely difficult time making the necessary repairs.”

Fiala says that because we are still reeling from the June floods, it is imperative assistance arrive soon.

Fiala says she and her office have been in contact with Senator Clinton, Senator Schumer and Congressman Maurice Hinchey, enlisting their support for this disaster declaration on the federal level. She says all have been extremely responsive and supportive in trying to get the President to issue the official declaration and to have it done expeditiously.

In the meantime residents are encouraged to document all of their damage and to make sure they take photographs and keep any paperwork related to their cleanup efforts. This will expedite the reimbursement process if and when it takes place.