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Upstate representatives ask Trump to declare Lake Ontario flooding a disaster

Rep. John Katko
Facebook File Photo
Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) surveys the water levels on Lake Ontario.

Several New York representatives are joining the calls for the federal government to declare the flooding along Lake Ontario a disaster. The move would bring federal funding and assistance to the recovery process.

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford), and North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) wrote to President Donald Trump last week saying the unprecedented flooding has caused irreparable damage to shoreline communities and left municipalities with extensive costs to fix their infrastructure. They join Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo who wrote to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) asking for the declaration earlier this month.

Katko says the devastation is so widespread that federal resources are necessary.

"The denigration of property values now that this flooding has hit - it’s a bad scene all the way around," Katko said. "The state is doing their part, we have to do our part and we hope the president will do his part."

Meanwhile, Katko says he and other New York representatives are continuing their effort to meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about Plan 2014. They say the water level control plan that the United States and Canada agreed to last year is responsible for the amount of flooding that has occurred this year.

The International Joint Commission, which implemented Plan 2014, along with many scientists, say this year's flooding was caused by the wet weather this spring, and not Plan 2014. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.