FEMA denies individual assistance for flooded Orange County homeowners

People in Orange County are furious after FEMA announced it won't help rebuild homes damaged from July floods.

Veronica Jean Seltzer

Sep 28, 2023, 12:29 AM

Updated 299 days ago

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People in Orange County are furious after FEMA announced it won't help rebuild homes damaged by July floods.
A Cornwall couple moved into their first home only months before the flooding.
Kristine Schmidt says so much of her and her partner's lives are gone.
They say they probably wouldn't have bought the home had they known their insurance wouldn't cover the flood damage
"What they offered, it won't even come close to fixing this," Schmidt said.
They were relying on individual assistance from FEMA.
"To find out basically you're worth nothing. You're worth nothing to them," Schmidt said.
A statement from FEMA says "...the damage was not of a severity and magnitude to warrant a federal declaration..."
"I don't know how anyone could possibly say - when there was a loss of life - that the amount of destruction wasn't enough to help people recoup," Schmidt said.
Hudson Valley politicians agree.
"If people were hit by an unexpected natural occurrence, they should get help," County Executive Steve Neuhaus said.
State Sen. James Skoufis calls it a slap in the face.
Rep. Pat Ryan has requested several times the FEMA administrator come to see the damage.
Cornwall Supervisor Josh Wojehowski is calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to appeal. She has 30 days to do so to try to get people like Schmidt another chance at help.


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