Local Businesses Seeking Relief After Historic Flooding

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WOODHULL, N.Y. (WETM) – After a week of cleaning up storm damage across Steuben County, local businesses are now waiting anxiously to determine whether or not they’ll qualify for federal aid to help them rebuild.

According to Steuben County Director of Public Safety Timothy Marshall, $30 million dollars in damage is needed to qualify for a FEMA “Emergency Disaster Declaration.” That would send financial relief to businesses and homeowners in need.

“The general thinking is that the $30 million thresholds should be reached,” Assemblymember Philip Palmesano said. “Personally, I’ve never seen anything like this.”

If the $30 million threshold is not reached, clean-up will become local responsibility, according to Marshall.

For the past week, volunteers have been in and out of H.P. Smith & Son Insurance, helping owner Leslie Smith – who was impacted by the historic flooding – clean-up.

“There were about three inches of mud in the building [the next morning],” Smith said. “We’re getting there, we’re drying out pulling up subflooring.”

Smith said she was inside her business when the flooding began last Wednesday night.

“I was trapped on that ramp right there with a couple of coworkers and it was just like the Mississippi River with debris and it was pouring in my building and out the back,” she told 18 News.

Local officials are urging business owners like Smith to document any damage and call 2-1-1 to report it.

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