DANBY, N.Y. — U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer has been in contact with local officials about finding federal flood relief funds for Tompkins County towns.


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Bus To Nature: Route 22

That’s according to Danby Town Supervisor Ric Dietrich, who said in an interview Monday morning that the cost of repairing local roads may simply exceed the towns’ ability to pay for it.

“When you’re trying to manage a budget and have $10 and need to spend $30 of it on roads, you know you’re going to be in trouble,” Dietrich said. “Usually, these situations are more widespread and one town can piggyback off of another.”

Schumer talks federal truck safety regulations at Ithaca's City Hall in February
Schumer talks federal truck safety regulations at Ithaca’s City Hall in February
Schumer talks federal truck safety regulations at Ithaca’s City Hall in February

Related: Newfield family feared evacuations as water flooded trailer park

Dietrich said there were two major problems confronting local officials, particularly in the Tompkins County towns of Danby and Newfield, both of which have declared a state of emergency: 1) The roads, 2) Flooded basements.

It’s still early, and state highway officials are continuing to do damage assessment to learn the scope of the problems on local roads.

Related: 2 critical local bridges evaluated after damaging Tompkins floods

Dietrich said that, in terms of Danby, at least Michigan Hollow Road and Brown Road were still closed.

“The biggest infrastructure cost is going to be to the roads,” he said.

The other big problem, flooded basements, should hopefully be compensated for largely with flood insurance, according to Dietrich. But officials are still trying to account for the extent of the damage on this front, he said.

“The fire department last night was going from one house to another house to another house pumping,” he said.

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Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.