NY bill promising to help homeowners, likely won't

Homeowners say they feel they have few places to turn to for help.

(WHAM) - Homeowners along the lake shore say a bill promising to help them is falling short. They were hoping to see financial aid from the state for rebuilding, relocating and cleaning up, but it is not looking like they will receive anything.

Rino Pappano put up a wall on sandbags to protect his home on Edgemere Drive. That wall now sits on the bottom of Lake Ontario as waves wash over it.

"You try to keep the house and then all the sudden the waves crash and they scare you so much," Pappano said.

Pappano said he has nobody to look to for help - a common feeling along the lake shore.

"When you deal with politicians, you don't know what's going to happen next," Pappano said. "It would be nice to have help for homeowners, but I don't see it," he continued. "We are not in very good shape anyway you look at it."

New York State Assembly Majority leader Joe Morelle co-sponsored a bill which promised to help homeowners. On Thursday, 13WHAM News asked Morelle directly if anything is being done for homeowners.

"We're very concerned about homeowners to the extent that we can help them and we'll be working to do that over the next few weeks and months as well," Morelle said.

It's a grim reality for many without flood insurance, including Pappano who doesn't live on a flood plain, despite what his yard looks like. Even if he wanted flood insurance, paying for it isn't easy.

"Maybe $8,000-10,000 a year," Pappano said. "It's just too expensive for most people."

Craig Bruno is an insurance agent at InsuranceTrak Services. He said calls are pouring in from homeowners wondering what to do next.

"I think it warrants a disaster," Bruno said. "Fewer than 5 percent of people, I would say, have flood insurance and Mother nature is going to make winners and losers out of some of these people."

For most, it's frankly too late.

No emergency funds are coming in and even if you rush to get flood insurance today, there is a 30-day waiting period until your policy even goes into effect.

FEMA said they are in touch with the state, but so far have not received an official request for help.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off