NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - People in Niagara County will have a tough time ever forgetting the flooding that soaked them, back in June. Thursday morning, there is relief in sight. It's not coming from the federal government, but instead from the state.
Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected back in western New York, to revisit some of the damage. He is scheduled to speak in Lockport, to address flood damage relief. The information that will be helpful for many because hundreds applied for flood assistance.
The heavy rain poured into homes and businesses, leaving many with thousands of dollars in damages. For example the assistance is badly needed for Richard Kwarciak, who owns Cracker's Tavern in Niagara Falls. He said his entire basement flooded after the summer storm.
Kwarciak said, “I had 50 inches of water in my cellar. All my compressors, the ice machine, all just floated away.”
Kwarciak hopes the state will help him out. He explained, “Certainly because if not, I'm dead in the water. I don't have that kind of money.”
Many homeowners were also affected. Initially many people hoped federal aid would help them repair their homes or businesses. But FEMA is not helping, the state is. Cuomo says $2 million in state aid goes to Niagara County.
Cuomo said, “It was a problem. It was an issue. It got tricky because the federal government normally does the disaster assistance. They denied it. What could we do? And we've come together and we came up with a response.”
Cuomo says he's content that it didn't require politics or a piece legislation to get to this point. Cuomo said, “We did it just with conversations and with a handshake and that's the way it should work, it doesn't always work but when it does work, it's nice.”
Homeowners are eligible for up to $31, 900 dollars to help repair damage. Small businesses and farms can get up to $50,000. Cuomo will speak about the recovery aid at 2:15 p.m. Thursday at the Lockport Municipal Building.
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