Senator Charles Schumer says the village has racked up $200,000 in interest fees. “The delivery of this long-deserved and much-delayed FEMA funding is a big win for the taxpayers in the Village of Gowanda. I saw first-hand the damage done by the 2009 floods and committed to doing everything in my power to making sure Gowanda got the federal assistant it deserved. When I heard that foot-dragging by FEMA was costing the Village hundreds of thousands of dollars, I was outraged,” Schumer said. “After sending several letters to Administrator Fugate, and speaking with both him and other top FEMA officials, I am thrilled that FEMA has done the right thing and given the ‘OK’ to release over $1.3 million to the Village.”
“The 2009 floods were a disaster for Gowanda, and we have been working hard ever since to rebuild and move on. These outstanding project costs were a weight on the Village’s finances, and we are very thankful for all of Senator Schumer’s efforts to get us the funding we were promised,” said Gowanda Mayor Heather McKeever. “As soon as the community came together and told the Senator we were having problems getting this funding, he jumped into action and would not leave FEMA alone until we received these reimbursements.”
In the summer of 2009, severe summer storms ripped through New York State, and Erie County and the Village of Gowanda experienced widespread destruction and property damage. This was followed by heavy thunderstorms and severe flooding which added to the damage, overturning foundations of homes and businesses, crippling water and wastewater systems, and rendering main thoroughfares impassable. Flooding hit the Village of Gowanda particularly hard, leading to the tragic loss of 2 lives in the small community.