Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reconsider its denial of a disaster declaration for parts of New York affected by flooding at the beginning of July 2017.
Their request comes after FEMA has already denied an appeal of its original decision on the matter.
In a news release, Schumer and Gillibrand said 15 counties in New York were "devastated" by storms and flooding between June 30 and July 24 last year.
"Simply put, FEMA has made a critical mistake by denying New York’s disaster declaration for the series of related summer storms that caused so much flooding and damage across Upstate. These counties have unfairly been left out to dry by the Feds, after suffering through weeks of severe storms that damaged homes and infrastructure," Schumer, D-N.Y., said in the release. "It is clear there is more FEMA can do here to ensure that these communities have the support they need. The damage is significant and pervasive throughout these counties, and if FEMA honestly thinks there is not ‘enough’ I encourage them to visit these impacted communities and explain to these New Yorkers why they are not eligible for the same level of federal assistance other counties received this year."
Gillibrand, D-N.Y., similarly said she was "outraged" by FEMA’s denial and urged the federal agency to "immediately reverse this decision."
"Millions of New Yorkers across some of the hardest-hit areas of our state are doing everything they can on their own to rebuild, but without FEMA’s assistance, our state will not be able to fully recover from these natural disasters. There should be no excuses — FEMA has a responsibility to step in and help, and they need to do it now," she said in the release.
Counties affected by the summer flooding included Broome, Cayuga, Cortland, Essex, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Tioga, Warren, Washington, and Wyoming.