December 7, 2017
Picente Responds to FEMA's Flood Assistance Denial
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Administrator Brock Long
500 C Street, SW
Washington D.C. 20472
Dear Administrator Long,
Recently you made a determination to deny New York State and Oneida County a disaster declaration for the flooding that devastated my community on July 1.
I find your decision to be horrendous and wholly bereft of common sense. This flood event left hundreds of people with extensive damage to their homes, and in some cases it was so severe that they will never be able to return.
We identified nearly $10 million worth of damages in Oneida County alone. I ask you to leave Washington D.C. and personally tell the people affected by these floods why you don't feel the loss of their homes and businesses warrant any help from their federal government.
In your letter you also point out the weather event is not beyond the capabilities of the local and state government to deal with. You should know that Oneida County government has committed $250,000 in personal assistance to those affected and it isn't enough. You should also be aware that we have assisted local municipalities with $500,000 for cleanup and repair, and that isn't enough.
County Government also has committed $12 million over the next six years for long-term flood mitigation projects, and once again, it isn't enough. I welcome the opportunity to explain this to you in person when you come here to justify your decision to my community.
At the end of the day, what communities around New York State and the Country are realizing is our federal representatives and federal government are too busy with politics and partisanship to accomplish anything of merit.
To that end, I will continue to do what I have done as a County Executive, solve problems the federal government is either too incompetent or too unwilling to solve.
Anthony J. Picente, Jr.
Oneida County Executive