Fort Plain residents hope for federal aid

Posted at: 07/08/2013 5:35 PM
Updated at: 07/09/2013 10:13 AM
By: Kumi Tucker

FORT PLAIN -- Greg Erhardt says he's okay working in the heat, but he can't take the humidity.

"Every day. Cleaning out the cellar and saving what you can. Your own possessions, you know," he said.

He's still cleaning out the mud from his Reid Street home after the flooding in Fort Plain ten days ago.

Residents are hoping for federal money to help them get back on their feet, but there has been no declaration yet.

"That's what I heard this morning.. still haven't declared a federal disaster. People in this village are going to need help," said Erhardt.

On Reid Street next to the creek in Fort Plain, one house after another after another has a bright orange sign-- condemned.

In Herkimer Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he is urging Washington to declare communities like Fort Plain a federal disaster area, which would bring grants for residents, small businesses, and municipalities. Failing that, he said he's prepared to call a special session of the legislature to step in and help. 

Residents like Greg Erhardt said he'd like to stay, but may not be able to, and that others in the village are doomed if they don't get help.

"I doubt if they can make it," he said. "They're just going to leave."

The Red Cross will no longer be using its mobile food van in Fort Plain. They'll be serving meals at the Senior Center on Canal Street beginning Tuesday.