Initial estimates of $6.5 million in damages caused by the record-breaking flood in Chenango County last June were less than half of what was actually received from federal, state and local organizations, including churches.
County officials charged with emergency management, infrastructure and social services estimate about $17.5 million in flood disaster related assistance has poured into the region over the past year.
No cost estimates were made for individual business losses, however officials at one time said about $8 million in crops spread over 132 farms in Chenango County were washed out.
The Chenango County Emergency Management Office reported this week that 418 repair and mitigation infrastructure projects were identified for reimbursement by state and federal emergency officials. Culverts and bridges are still at the present time being replaced in some municipalities.
“We had some towns where every single road was damaged and needed repair,” Deputy Director Matt Beckwith said.
FEMA paid out $12 million plus $1.28 in mitigation project costs.
“When FEMA came in, we went through every pebble and itemized costs and made contacts with school, fire department, village and school officials. Project worksheets were written up and costs reported to FEMA,” he said. “The paperwork was overwhelming.”
As for departmental expenses, the majority of the urgent work was completed by volunteer EMTs, fire fighters, and deputy coordinators. Individual towns handled the majority of their own clean up, though outside contractors were called in to assist with the floods that hit the region all over again in November. Corrections officers were called in to set up shelters, deliver water, food and other supplies. Road patrols followed-up complaints and ensured safety.