Local Leaders Work Toward Long Term Flood Recovery

By Gabe Osterhout

July 22, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2006 at 2:07 AM EST

It was the recent flooding that brought together several local leaders, and one state leader, to look at long term flood recovery across the area.

Some say it helps knowing everyone is in the same position.

"We got to air our concerns as a group, not individuals talking to our state or federal representatives, but we had a chance to sit there, compare our notes if you will but more importantly to call for us to act as a unified group," says Vestal Supervisor Peter Andreasen.

Leaders agree that working together will get more accomplished for the people of Broome County, than the individual municipality working alone.

"Everbody's been helping everybody. The municipalities are helping out and that's the positive...what a good job we've done together," says Conklin Supervisor Deborah Preston.

"I think we really need to thank the volunteers, the volunteer firemen, emergency personnel, all the trained firefighters, police officers, sheriffs, state police and the highway crews too," says Assemblyman Clifford Crouch.

Crouch is working with the New York State legislature to offer tax breaks to some people affected by the flooding.

"The balance of the community can't pick up the slack. We have to have the state step in and hold the school districts and municipalities harmless and pay the difference of what the loss really is," says Crouch.

Leaders say the state has been very accommodating, but they add the problem is with FEMA.

They say FEMA is taking too long to send aid to people in need.

Leaders admit, with winter coming, and a long cleanup ahead, this is no time to wait.

Broome County is putting together a flood task force team.

It's expected to meet for the first time next week.

The task force will discuss needs of people as they clean up from flooding.

It'll also focus on what the area will do to prevent future flooding.

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