The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Cuomo won't appeal FEMA denial

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will not appeal a denial of federal individual aid for victims of recent flooding in the Mohawk Valley.

During a press briefing with officials from the Mohawk Valley, the governor said numerous conversations with FEMA have left him with the impression they wouldn't be receptive to an appeal. "They were abundantly clear in their reasoning," he said. "I disagree with it wholeheartedly."

The decision not to appeal was reached before he announced on Wednesday that the state will provide the individual assistance being denied by the federal government. Funding the assistance will cost $16 million, with $4 million going to Montgomery County.

Cuomo added that the wait for a decision on an appeal might mean a delay in assistance for flood victims. "People need help now. They don't need help next year," he said.

U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, who previously called for the state to appeal the denial, said he disagreed with the governor's decision not to appeal.

"I'm very disappointed to learn that we are not going to appeal this FEMA decision on individual assistance," he said.

Gibson argued that the flood response effort until now has represented a great team effort and that the next step is for the federal government to chip in with individual assistance. Noting that he has supported individual assistance for disaster victims all over the country, he said, "I expect our constituents to be treated the same way."

On Friday the Daily Gazette will include a full story on new disaster relief the state is funneling to Mohawk Valley flooding victims through a community rebuilding program

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