Federal Help To Clear Area Waterways

By Mike Trim

July 22, 2010 Updated Aug 29, 2006 at 11:32 PM EDT

Carene Dinardo of Windsor says leftover flood debris in a creek near her Farr Road home is a disaster waiting to happen.

"We get nervous every time it rains. All the time, continually. I mean you can't sleep, that's all you think about, what the rain's going to do until the creek gets fixed," says Dinardo.

To help clean that debris and prevent future flooding, FEMA crews are inspecting waterways here in Windsor and other flood disaster areas.

If they decide debris like gravel and trees could lead to flooding, FEMA will provide federal funds for cleanup.

"As you can see from the rain that's going on now, it's very important because we're looking at what are the major issues that's causing these streams to flood," says FEMA Debris Officer Ronald Moore.

FEMA crews have visited 82 sites across the Southern Tier, and out of those sites, half are eligible for federal funding to get local crews in to pull debris out of creeks.

Like the creek at the Farr Road Bridge in Windsor.

To remove the debris local governments must first get a permit from the state DEC.

If debris is on private property, the owner must give permission before cleanup starts.

It's a process Town of Windsor Supervisor Randy Williams says is frustrating, but he's glad FEMA is on the scene.

"When we report it, you know, it seems like we have to fight to get some help. So I think it's very important that they come see the damage first hand," says Williams.

And Williams hopes seeing the damage first hand will lead to money to help keep his town and others flood free.

If FEMA decides debris is an immediate danger, local governments have to clean up using town, village, or city money first.

FEMA then sends federal funds to New York State, which reimburses those governments.

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