Officials in the Greene County town of Ashland continue talks with FEMA over reimbursement for repairs to their water supply system; Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has more along with an udate from FEMA regarding flood damage recovery throughout the Catskills.
In Ashland, the storms Lee and Irene made a mess of the local water supply, setting back plans to implement a new delivery system. Town Supervisor Richard Tompkins says the residents are currently drawing water from private wells - he says the water from the old municipal system was so acidic it would eat the metal off vehicles washed with it and it would rust out home appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. Tompkins is confident that the new water system will soon be completed.
Tompkins estimates the cost of simply getting the water system back to where it was before the flooding at about 300-thousand dollars. With federal approval, FEMA would chip in 75 percent of the total cost and the state will provide 12.5 percent.
As Ashland continues working with FEMA over reimbursement for needed repairs to the new water supply system and existing water treatment facility, FEMA Spokesman Matthew Russell says the agency has made significant progress in helping affected communities.
Russell says storms Irene and Lee taken together represent the largest natural disaster to ever hit New York State in terms of both geography and financial impact.
Federal and state emergency management officials are handling some 12-thousand flood-related projects in New York. Agencies are processing about 500 public assistance grants a week.