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The Dansville Online
  • Monday flooding comes with steep price tag

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  • By MATT LEADER
    Genesee Country Express
    Kevin Niedermaier, director of Livingston County's Office of Emergency Management, estimated the cost damage caused by Monday's flooding to be about $350,000.
    “That's only an estimate,” stipulated Niedermaier. “But with everything we've got, we're looking at around $350,000-ish.”
    Niedermaier, who has been in contact with the National Weather Service, said that the hardest hit parts of the county received around eight inches of rain in a 24-hour span of time.
    “That's a huge amount in terms of how things like culverts and drainage systems hold up,” he said. “We had lots of roads and streets that, at some point, were not passable.”
    The worst of the flooding was confined to the northern part of the county, with Caledonia, Avon and York the hardest hit.
    “Everybody suffered some rain, but not to the magnitude they did,” explained Neidermaier. “The storm system stalled right there and just hung on.”
    The Livingston County Sheriff's Office issued a travel advisory and a boating advisory for Conesus Lake Monday morning, the former of which was lifted Monday night. In addition, a county-wide flash flood warning was in effect from early Monday morning until about 1 p.m.
    Some local fire departments were still pumping basements Tuesday morning, said Neidermaier, but the majority of roads were cleared and serious flooding over by Monday night.
    There remains to be completed extensive, county-wide repairs to replace damaged culverts, drainage systems and streets.
    Though the floods brought with them substantial property damage, Neidermaier was quick to praise the response of local fire departments and emergency service workers.
    “Caledonia had assistance from Monroe and Genesee Counties, Livonia had assistance from West Sparta and I believe Nunda in some pumping details,” said Neidermaier. “Overall there was no loss of life, nobody was injured. It was a struggle at first but we got caught up and stayed ahead of it. We had a good strong mutual aid system and we were able to keep it in check.”
    Despite the flood's estimated $350,000 price tag, federal assistance remains somewhere between possible and unlikely.
    In order to declare a distaster zone and thus qualify for federal FEMA aid, a county and New York State as a whole must meet certain damage thresholds.
    Becausae Monday's rains were so localized Neidermaier is not exactly hopeful that Livingston County will see federal relief dollars pouring in.
    “It was such an isolated storm and did not affect things statewide,” he said. “We're working diligently to see if we cant get something out of this from the state and federeal government. Hopefully we can get something, but who knows? It'sdifficult to do that. We can't get a disaster (declaration) every single time for every single storm.”
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