Disaster Delcared: Federal Assistance To Delaware County

By Jenna Hanchard

August 31, 2011 Updated Aug 31, 2011 at 6:47 PM EDT

The President signed a disaster declaration for New York that provides public aid to 19 counties including Delaware County where the communities are struggling to pick up the pieces.

Hurricane Irene hit villages in Delaware County such as Fleischmanns and Margaretville especially hard.

Neighbors like Charlene Roberts are heartbroken.

"I'm devastated. I can't do it anymore. I've gone through a couple floods here already," she says.

James Eisel leads the Delaware County Board of Supervisors.

He says the county is pulling together many resources.

"This is a tremendous situation that I know the people have to deal with in this town. I know we have all of the agencies. I know we have fed, we got state, we have everyone here trying to do the best they can for the people in this devastated community," he says.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, also known as FEMA is set to provide temporary housing, grants and loans to cover uninsured or underinsured property losses.

This is exactly what people like John Fronckowiak will need.

"Most of the people don't have flood insurance because of the fact that it's almost impossible to afford for a lot of people and it don't cover a lot of things," he says.

Charlene Roberts will need help sifting through the muck.

"It got flooded out and we had five feet of water in our store. There's probably three to four inches of mud. Everything is off the shelves and into the floor, " says Roberts.

Delaware County Emergency Services officials say they will get help out to residents as soon as possible.

"We're currently compiling lists of volunteers and we hope to get them deployed in the area that can help residents with some of the clean up process," says Richard Bell.

Beyond the dollars, officials say it will be the spirit of the community that will help it move from under the rubble.

"We're a tough lot and we will get though this as bad as it is. We'll all pull together as we always have in the past and help each other," says Eisel.

Starting Thursday, residents and business owners who sustained losses can apply for federal assistance online www.DisasterAssistance.gov

They can call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).

These toll free numbers will operate from 7 a.m. To 10 p.m.