Could Halloween Flood Victims Finally Get Buyouts?


The Halloween Flood destroyed homes, communities and left many people helpless. Congressman Anthony Brindisi was joined by Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, Whitestown Supervisor Shaun Kaleta and Whitesboro Mayor Robert Friedlander to outline findings from a report put together by the Sauqoit Creek Basin Intermunicipal Commission which was funded by Oneida County.

Brindisi stated that the report will will help them make a case, “At the federal level for future flood mitigation funding and buyout decisions that need to be made.”

Brindisi outlined key findings from the report including:

1.    The high number of residential buildings whose first-floor levels were completely under water during the flood. This highlights the lasting damage from the flood was widespread and long-term as the foundation of homes and businesses sat submerged during the event.

2.    The report’s modeling indicates the out-of-bank flooding begins upstream of the CSX railroad bridge which dramatically complicates evacuation and creates longer-lasting damages to public and private infrastructure.

3.    The report highlights the high water levels of flooding in various neighborhoods showing the devastating impact to dozens of homes in the area. For example, houses on Dunham and Wind Place neighborhoods flooded by more than two feet of water as foundations collapsed and structures were picked up by floodwaters. Several other streets also saw significant structural damage as a result of the high water levels.

“Not only do we need more mitigation to protect from future losses but we need funding for buyouts for those homes and structures that have unfortunately become repetitive loss structures.” —Shaun Kaleta

Brindisi and officials are sending the reports to federal agencies like FEMA and USDA in hopes that they will authorize further mitigation and home buyout efforts.

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