By Eric Tichy
MAYVILLE - The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday added Chautauqua County to a disaster declaration following heavy rain and flooding in June.
Also added to the declaration were Broome, Clinton and Essex counties, Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said. With the addition, municipalities can request public assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures and repair or replacement of damaged public facilities.
The heaviest rain and subsequent flooding occurred June 27-28.
"Any community that suffered damage as a result of the rain and flooding can request aid," said Julius Leone, Chautauqua County fire coordinator.
Leone and local officials toured numerous sites damaged following the heavy rains. Some of the hardest hit areas include: Brocton, Portland, Stockton and Chautauqua.
However, any town, village or city in the county can request FEMA assistance, Leone said.
Said Schumer, "This federal disaster assistance is necessary because it will give reassurance to our communities that the federal government will be there to help as they continue their response efforts and begin to recover from the storm.
"From the North Country to the Southern Tier, no one can question the severity of this massive storm or the suffering these communities have endured," Gillibrand said. "We need any available federal assistance to continue the hard work of cleaning up and rebuilding. These federal funds will go a long way to help our communities stand strong."