Flooding Victims Learn What State Help Is Available

Flooding Victims Learn What State Help Is Available

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As residents on the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines wait for the high water flooding their properties to go down, they're already preparing for the next steps: cleaning up and rebuilding.

"We'll give as much information as we can," said Neighbors of Watertown's Gary Beasley. "We'll help people with all the documentation."

Neighbors of Watertown is helping people find out what help is available and hosted its first meeting in Chaumont Thursday night, explaining to residents how they can receive some of the $7 million in state flood relief. 

Anyone applying for aid must have the affected property as their primary residence, have an income under a certain amount, and have less than $80,000 in liquid assets. 

There are also some exceptions to benefit seniors. 

Beasley says residents should get in touch even if they're not sure if they qualify, "because the rules rules may be expanded to allow more things to be eligible."

The state attorney general's office was also there, warning residents about scammers that may take advantage of natural disasters.

"Contractors that come through and give estimates that are too good to be true, in the end, leaving homeowners with very high bills or liens on their property," said Deanna Nelson, who's in charge of the attorney general's district office in Watertown.

"We also find scammers who are more sophisticated and might be calling on the telephone, posing as insurance companies," she said.

Residents and business owners say there's still a lot more yard and paperwork before life along the lake and river goes back to normal.

"What are we expecting for the future?" said Chaumont Bay Marina owner Mark Morina. "Until we know what's happening, we can't fix anything right now."

Neighbors of Watertown plans on hosting another meeting like this one within the next two weeks to help residents learn about the state's flood relief options.

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