HERKIMER, N.Y., July 8 (UPI) -- More than a week after severe thunderstorms and flash flooding ravaged central New York, the governor said he had not heard from the federal government.
Speaking in Herkimer, N.Y., one of the areas hardest hurt by the flash flooding at the end of June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised to push even harder than he already has to bring federal aid, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported.
"We are in the business of helping people, and in an emergency situation like this it is so clear that people need help," Cuomo said at a news conference.
"They need help rebuilding their homes; they need help putting their lives back together. The local governments need help in now financially stabilizing themselves, and this state government is going to be there for the people who have just gone through this."
Cuomo met with residents and American Red Cross volunteers at a distribution site Sunday afternoon in the Kmart parking lot in Herkimer.
Cuomo filed for a federal disaster declaration for the state last week, but the governor said he hasn't heard back so he plans to call the White House Monday to urge President Barack Obama to issue the declaration.
If the Federal Emergency Management Agency is not responsive, "the state of New York will stand behind that disaster declaration and we'll turn to the state for help and the state will be there," Cuomo said.