On Wednesday, Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) toured the destruction in Lodi, as residents continue to rebuild, or attempt to do so in the wake of that flooding in August.
Dozens of homes were destroyed, and upwards of $36 million in damage was done.
While Reed hoped that he could bring good news about FEMA funding, but that isn’t the case yet.
Residents say they feel forgotten. John Moore, a 30 year resident, called it hell – pointing out that the damage was ‘extreme’ and the stress was, too.
“I’ve never lived through anything like that before and I hope I never do,” he told 13WHAM.
“Unfortunately, it’s just draining everybody’s bank accounts, credit cards. Any means you can to rebuild. There was no getting out, there was not getting out of the way,” he continued.
Another resident, Mark Brown, explained that his property was unsalvageable – and in his family for generations. “I came here as a little boy. I know I couldn’t have stopped that flood. There’s nothing I could’ve done, but I feel personally like I lost my grandfather’s legacy,” he added.
Residents in Lodi are taking things day-by-day.
Reed said that he was hopeful to bring good news about relief for Lodi, but with the disaster unfolding in North Carolina following Hurricane Florence – he didn’t want to get local residents’ hopes up.
“Unbelievable how much this impacts people and their property, and thank God, in this event, no loss of life,” he said. “Now, you’re about a month out and a lot of them are saying is, ‘We seem to be forgotten,’ and coming here today, I wanted to send the message, you’re not forgotten today with us.”
He says damages from flooding are around $36 million. That qualifies for FEMA. But Reed says, in the midst of Hurricane Florence, FEMA may not be an option yet.
But Reed urged neighbors not to lose hope and to track damages and expenses.
“I don’t want to raise any expectations. There’s no one magic number that is out there. But any type of relief is what we’re advocating for. Look at the devastation. Every little bit helps. We recognize this is a long-term situation. This is going to take months, years to overcome.”
Reed is asking people to reach out to his office and report damages and costs as he continues to advocate for FEMA aid.