Governor declares Essex County flooding disaster, tours area

MORIAH-After Gov. Andrew Cuomo landed in a helicopter at the Moriah Central School April 29, he declared a State Disaster Emergency in Essex County in the wake of a storm that left roadways and homes flooded throughout the region.

Cuomo gave a press conference in the town of Moriah, one of the hardest hit areas, at the site of the Moriah Broad Street Bridge, which collapsed after a flash flood on April 27. The bridge is located on one of the busiest roads in the county, County Route 4 between the hamlet of Moriah and the village of Port Henry on Lake Champlain.

"I am going to declare a disaster in the county of Essex," Cuomo said. "While that doesn't sound like goods news, it actually is good news. What the declaration of emergency does is it allows the state to deploy resources to assist local governments all throughout the county. Meaning that the state resources, state equipment, state funds aren't just used on "

Cuomo said this would mean state funds, equipment and resources could be used on local roads and facilities, as opposed to simply state roads and facilities. He said he would continue to deploy the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Transportation. He said he would also be taking an assessment of damages across the state; if New York qualifies he will apply for federal disaster emergency help.

Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava, Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Douglas, state Sen. Betty Little, state DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, and state DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald had spoken before Cuomo at the event.

Scozzafava thanked Cuomo for providing state support.

"We have the state of New York DOT equipment and some employees on this site, today, helping this municipality make these emergency repairs. And I want you to know, a year ago, that would have been unheard of. This is the man we owe it to," Scozzafava said, referring to Cuomo.

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