Cuomo: State will compensate for 'earth movement' loss
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“Many New Yorkers were hopeful that they would be covered since they had purchased flood insurance,” said Director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, Seth Diamond. “However, they were unaware of this NFIP rule regarding earth movements. As a result, these homeowners did not receive the assistance they were seeking, and many who did not have the resources to rebuild on their own are still not back in their homes. Now, these residents will be eligible to receive funding through the state’s home rebuilding program instead, and their eligible rebuilding costs will be covered.”
The state will continue to conduct outreach to homeowners to ensure that those interested can apply for assistance. In addition, the Office of Storm Recovery will provide technical assistance to the communities under the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program to evaluate and determine if local resiliency measures could assist with limiting the impact of earth movements.
In Freeport the planning committee, which includes community activists and village department chiefs, have met and identified “assets, strengths and weaknesses,” said member Rob Weltner. “There is a tremendous amount of knowledge here and this gives us [Freeport] a real advantage in assessing how we can be more resilient, how we can recover faster from these storms in the future.”
Mr. Weltner said that one of the things that needs to be addressed is that “the Department of Public Works is at ground zero. This is a huge liability. We need to do something about that.”
Freeport’s Department of Public Works is located in the most southern section of the village in a flood zone in the Industrial Park. “Residents depend upon the services of DPW, especially when a storm hits,” explained Mr. Weltner. “Think about it – these are the guys who remove trees when lines go down and collect garbage. The fuel tanks [for village vehicles including fire equipment and police vehicles] are down there too.”
The public will be invited to a forum on October 16 to learn about the New York Rising Community Reconstruction program in Freeport and to share ideas with the planning committee. The time and place was still undetermined at press time.