OLCOTT, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Department of Environmental Conservation is busy helping neighbors in Olcott after historic flooding damaged properties along Lake Ontario.
DEC leaders say they recognize this as an emergency situation. Shoreline communities in Niagara County will be eligible for a share of $10 million dollars given out by the state.
The Buffalo Office of the DEC is giving out these emergency repair permits like wildfire. As of Monday morning, 64 of them have been issued in Niagara County, and another 12 are on the way.
To give you perspective, only 18 permits total were issued for all of last year.
The fresh water sand dunes are being washed away and in some places completely overtaken. Since the end of April, more than 1.2 million sandbags have been given out to help neighbors fight against damage to their homes and businesses.
This latest, $10 millon dollar- investment program, will support flood recovery efforts, including repairs to flood walls, roads and sidewalks, as well as public water and sewers.
Already more than 700 people have asked for insurance assistance, and clean up hasn’t been easy.
Abby Snyder, Regional Director with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said, “It is pretty devastating. Peoples homes are flooding, peoples homes are in jeopardy, I think the one caution we would point out to people; they need to be careful when they’re doing work. It’s really been a very wet spring, so the edge of your cliffs are probably very wet, so we want people to be careful.”
The NYS Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers will be at the below locations over the next five days. In addition, those who are not able to visit the Emergency Response Mobile Command Center can call the Department of Financial Service’s Disaster Hotline at 1-800-339-1759, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 p.m. for help with insurance-related issues.
The New York State Emergency Response Mobile Command Center will visit Niagara County from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Olcott Fire Co. in the Town of Newfane, 1691 Lockport-Olcott Road. In Orleans County, the command center will be available from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Town of Kent at County Marine Park, Point Breeze Road (Route 98).