Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,386,900 in federal funding to purchase flood-prone properties in Broome County impacted by flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The Town of Conklin will receive $1,471,552 to purchase 60 flood-prone properties and the Town of Vestal will receive $1,915,348 to purchase 61 flood-prone properties. The funding was allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and will fund the acquisition and demolitions of flood-prone properties for the creation of open space in those high-risk flood areas.
“It is not enough to simply rebuild and repair; we must also prepare ourselves for the next storm and the next potential flood. That’s exactly what this federal grant will do, helping to lower the risk of flood damage for Broome County properties that are most in harm’s way,” said Senator Schumer. “These much-needed federal funds will help the county and the Villages of Conklin and Vestal purchase and repurpose more than 60 flood-prone properties in the area for the creation of open space. Spending a penny today on flood-prevention efforts could save the federal government and Broome County homeowners a dollar tomorrow in repair costs.”
“Flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee has devastated communities throughout Broome County and left some homes and businesses beyond repair,” said Senator Gillibrand. “By purchasing severely flood-prone properties and turning those high-risk areas into open space, we can help protect the community from future flooding. This critical FEMA program helps us better prepare for the future and helps sustain our communities by preventing further devastation of homes and businesses.”
“Very happy with the Senators’ hard work,” said John Schaffer, Supervisor, Town of Vestal. “Greatly appreciate that this came through so expeditiously. We’re glad to be nearing the end on this.”
“We’re glad because we can finally start cleaning out the properties,” said Jim Finch, Supervisor for the Town of Conklin. “We can get rid of some of the blighted properties with this funding.”
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides funding under Section 404 of the Stafford Act, the federal disaster law that supplies aid to states and localities to implement long-term resiliency measures after a major disaster. The purpose of these grants is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.