New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand toured storm damaged communities in Herkimer and Montgomery Counties Monday. Gillibrand tells WAMC that the devastation is widespread.
"I just had the opportunity to view the damage in Herkimer and Montgomery Counties and the damage is severe. We’ve seen homes where the first floor along with the basement and all of the contents are sitting on the homeowner’s front lawn because they’ve been so damaged by the flooding. We have also met with residents who are helping each other still dig out the mud. We were able to see a store — the only store in the community for groceries- completely flooded by 7 feet of water. The whole community is working — all the employees, all the neighboring families- to dig out that store so that they can begin to rebuild," Gillibrand said.
"What’s most important is that those who have suffered from damage — they need to report their damage to FEMA and some people don’t even have electricity yet so it’s key to find a place with electricity so we can get access to a computer, to the internet and report that damage to FEMA. File your claims, take photographs of everything that has been damaged so we can get a designation of a disaster zone which is necessary to bring more federal resources to the area, to help families and business begin to rebuild. I am certain that all of the families will rebuild and will rebuild even better because that is the determination of New York and New Yorkers. But I am certain that it will be a long journey and one that will be very hard so we need to help one another get through this difficult time."