FLOOD: Disaster area declared in Mohawk Valley (UPDATE)
Updated 6:13 p.m.
MOHAWK VALLEY Montgomery and Schoharie counties are on the list of 15 counties that have been designated disaster areas by Gov. Andrew Cuomo following severe storms and flooding.
“The State is taking action to provide immediate assistance and support to counties in the Mohawk River Valley which are experiencing floods,” Cuomo said in a statement. “I will be closely monitoring the situation and my administration will continue to coordinate with first responders in all of the affected flooded areas. I urge New Yorkers in these areas to monitor news reports and follow directions from emergency personnel on the ground.”
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jerome M. Hauer added in a statement, “With more rain in the forecast, there is a potential for more flooding in more areas in the region. We are asking people to stay alert, listen to emergency instructions and cooperate with local officials if needed.”
The declaration specifically identified Town and Village of Middleburgh in Schoharie County and the Town of Minden in Montgomery County.
The state's response has included the deployment of a Huey helicopter with divers and an airboat with a dive team to Montgomery and Herkimer counties. State Police have also set up a forward air base at Nelliston Park in Fort Plain.
Village of Middleburgh Mayor Matthew Avitabile said Thursday's storm didn't have much impact in Schoharie County, so he suspected it was included in the disaster declaration due to flooding from two weeks ago.
Moving forward, he said the need to mitigation efforts are important to allow for community rebuilding. Regarding the disaster declaration, Avitabile said, "We welcome the state's help but need to see these promises carried through."
State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, whose district includes Montgomery County, had a scheduled event today in Ulster County, but sent staff to impacted areas and has been in contact with local officials to offer assistance. Her office was also coordinating with the Red Cross to help direct relief efforts.
"I recently toured areas of Montgomery County that had been hit by previous floods, and it is heartbreaking to see that some of these same areas are being damaged again," Tkaczyk said. "With more rain in the forecast, I urge all residents of the Mohawk Valley to remain vigilant and listen to the instructions from their local emergency services providers."
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