LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) - Flash flooding hit western New York last week, and Lockport became a virtual lake. The damage tab in Lockport is in the millions. Governor Andrew Cuomo did not declare a disaster in Niagara County at first, however, he has now changed his mind.
Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy announced the state was listing Niagara County as a disaster zone Tuesday morning. Duffy was in town on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo. Also in town Tuesday was U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer who is pledging his support to residents of Niagara County.
After relentless rain flooded the City of Lockport last week, restaurant owners are left to clean up the Wide Waters restaurant. The store is now closed until further notice and after a major hit on his bottom line, this next weekend would have been the most profitable.
Martin Oliveri said, "I think the full summer until we're able to can financially figure out how we can do this. As of right now we're devastated."
Damage throughout Lockport is estimated at $7 million. Governor Cuomo issued a disaster declaration for Niagara County, clearing the way for federal aid.
Mayor Mike Tucker said, "Some homes will be covered by insurance, some will not. We need some help for these people."
Senator Chuck Schumer got a first-hand look at the area, and toured Lockport Tuesday morning. He stopped at Wide Waters Restaurant and promised the government would be there to help.
"These are not rich people, these are not fancy castles. These are average middle-class homes so we're going to do our best to try and get FEMA to understand. As I said, FEMA has been more flexible in recent years, particularly after Sandy," said Schumer.
Oliveri said, "They said they are going to be here and I know they will. We'll be back, we'll be stronger.
Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. the State Office of Emergency Management will have boots on the ground surveying all of the damage. FEMA will be soon to follow. Schumer advises if you are having any work done because of the flooding to save all of your receipts and document it all.
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