Washington, DC, Jun 13, 2011 — On Friday, President Barack Obama declared much of the North Country a federal disaster area following spring floods that continue to plague much of the region. The declaration will mean federal money to help local communities faced with rebuilding infrastructure and paying emergency workers for overtime. Some private homeowners may also qualify for special loans and other financial assistance.
In all, twenty-one New York counties were included on the list, including Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, and Warren counties. But New York Senator Chuck Schumer says he'll continue to push for Federal emergency aid for St. Lawrence, Washington and Saratoga Counties, which were excluded.
In an interview with the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Franklin County Emergency Services Director Ricky Provost called the declaration "good and welcome news." In Franklin County alone, the price tag for repairing public infrastructure is expected to top $11 million, at a time when local communities are already cash-strapped.
A flood warning remains in effect for the Lake Champlain shoreline, which is still nearly a foot above flood stage.