State, Federal Officials Tour Oneida County Flood Damage [VIDEO]
Oneida County, NY (WIBX) - Is federal disaster aid on its way to Oneida County? It could be, if the county and New York State meet the minimum threshold for damage.
"For infrastructure damage, the state has to reach the [combined] theshold of $24.6 million. And, the county would have to reach the couny threshold which is just under $800,000," said Andrew Feeney, director of the New York State Office of Emergency Management.
Feeney, and representatives of FEMA, toured flood damaged area Thursday to see just how bad it was. In addition to reimbursment aid to municipalities, private citizens could be able to receive federal assistance as well, he said.
"For individuals it's more complicated. They do look at how much damage to homes has occurred, but they also look at things like the level of income of the area and other demographics like age. They want to get a sense of whether people have the ability to take care of their own need," Feeney said.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente and county Emergency Services Director Kevin Revere led the tour, which began at two trailer parks in Deerfield that are adjacent to West Canada Creek. The videos below show damage at the Blue Anchor Trailer Park - the first is an interview with the owner.
This is video from inside a trailer that was destroyed by flood waters, lifting the trailer off it's base and moving it some 15 feet.
The tour also included stops at Roosevelt Drive in Utica and locations in New Hartford, Whitesboro and Whitestown.
Residents Think They Know Why Flooding Was So Bad
Many residents at the trailer parks in Deerfield believe the flood worsened after water was released from Hinckley Reservoir.
County Executive Anthony Picente says he heard 'rumblings' about water being released because of the high level at Hinckley but has to look into it further.
"The question I have, and I guess the residents do to, is at what point are those releases made neccessary...?" Should water be released prior to the storm, during or after, Picente said. "We have to take a look at the data, from throughout the storms, and see when the made the releases," he said.
Picente said he's not pointing any fingers any organization, but will reach out to the Canal Corporation and Power Authority.
Deerfield Clerk Mary Ruckel provided WIBX with these flood photos of flooding at the trailer parks in Deerfield.