Gov. Andrew Cuomo attended a Wednesday morning meeting with a Margaretville committee working on long-term rebuilding after the 2011 flooding. Members reached for comment welcomed his support.
The Margaretville New York Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committee was one of more than 100 similar groups comprised of community leaders, experts and other officials, according to a media release from Cuomo.
The committees were launched by Cuomo earlier this year and funded by federal recovery dollars to empower communities that suffered significant damage in recent storms. According to the release, the committees, composed of representatives from government, nonprofits and other stakeholders, will “create and implement locally-oriented strategies to rebuild and better prepare for future extreme weather.” Locally, similar committees were also created for Sidney and Prattsville.
Wednesday’s meeting in Margaretville was held at the central school, co-chairwoman Carol O’Bierne said. Cuomo talked about the program and his personal experiences in the village the day it was flooded in 2011, she said.
“It allowed him to experience the drama, and the devastation that came,” O’Bierne noted.
Working with state provided planning organizations, and community input, the local committees will seek long-term solutions to specific challenges that each faces so “we are better prepared when we are flooded again,” she said.
“You don’t want to rebuild the way it was done before.”
The expectation is that, by the end of October, the committee will identify specific locations where action needs to be taken. The entire project is to be presented in February.
“Margaretville and surrounding areas were hit hard during Hurricane Irene as well as Tropical Storm Lee,” Cuomo said in the release. “Following the storms and severe flooding, the state stepped up to the plate to help families, businesses, and farms recover, and now we need a long-term approach and strategy for making Margaretville stronger and more resilient for future natural disasters. The New York Community Reconstruction planning committee will bring this community together to create a bottom-up, long-term recovery plan that will enable Margaretville to build back better than ever before.”