ELIZABETHTOWN — The start date for a federal disaster declaration has been moved from June 28 to 26, and Essex and Clinton counties have been declared eligible for federal aid from June’s severe storms.
Both counties had been hoping the Federal Emergency Management Agency would add those dates, because significant storm damage occurred just before the first June 28 cutoff.
The first declaration had included 11 other counties.
“It took a long time to get, but we got it (the aid),” Essex County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said Monday. “It was very important to us.”
Broome and Chautauqua counties were also added to the list.
The counties are now eligible for federal assistance that includes debris removal, emergency protective measures and the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities for the period June 26 to July 4.
The aid will be used to supplement state and local efforts to repair the damage done by the flooding caused by storms that dumped heavy rainfall on the North Country.
“That’s good,” Clinton County Emergency Services Director Eric Day said Monday of the declaration. “It’s definitely a good thing. We’re happy.”
Essex County had about $500,000 in damage for that period, while Clinton had about $400,000.
Day said that if the disaster date were to be moved back to June 11, it would add up to another $1 million in damages for his county.
“We had another $800,000 to $1 million on June 11. Some of our towns took a beating over the month of June.”
Among them was Saranac, said Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru).
“They had huge damage.”
Douglas and Day both said they’ll lobby FEMA to extend the disaster period to June 11.
Allegany, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Otsego and Warren counties had previously been declared eligible for federal assistance for the flooding.