Lake Ontario flood recovery program meetings begin

Jul 21, 2017

State lawmakers say help is finally here for the property owners who have experienced damage from flooding along Lake Ontario this year. Community leaders are organizing residents as the state prepares to distribute the recovery funding.

The attendance was so large at the first flood recovery workshop in Pulaski that the meeting had to be moved outside. Homeowners grabbed home repair applications as they arrived, like Kyle Krebs from Sandy Pond. He says the flooding took half of his lawn damaging a breakwall in the process.

"I figure it's going to cost me close to $40,000 between contractor costs and all the material costs," Krebs said.

Hundreds attended the first Lake Ontario Flood Recovery Program in Pulaski.
Credit Payne Horning / WRVO News

The good news for Krebs is that homeowners are eligible for up to $50,000 under the program. The bad news is there's only $22 million available for homeowners between what the legislature and governor have appropriated. That's why Reg Schweitzer, the coordinator for Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, suggests people turn in their applications as soon as possible.

"We are taking applications and trying to prioritize who's going to be helped first," Schweitzer said. "We're all going to be in the same position as far as wanting the money at the same time. We understand that is the most difficult part of our process is trying to figure out how to fairly get the money out the door in the most expedited process."

The details of how that will work and when the money will arrive are to be determined, but the funding will be limited to fixing structural damage to houses, replacing non-luxury appliances like refrigerators and water heaters, and shoreline repairs.