Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 5:54:50 AM

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County Still in Recovery Two Years Later

Two years after flood waters filled Southern Tier streets, County Executive Debbie Preston says Broome is still on the way to full recovery.

"I think that if you go through the county, that most people are going to think that the recovery is pretty well done but what they don't understand is the buyouts  are not complete so peoples lives are still in flux," said Preston.

County officials say they've received over 45 million dollars from the federal and state governments to fix damage to public infrastructure and critical facilities. 

They say the flood caused an estimated 67 million dollars to residential buildings.

Conklin's Town Board is waiting for FEMA's approval to demolish 53 flood damaged homes.  Meanwhile, the last restoration project  is already underway, the community center.

"The project is to put doors across all the entrances and that's hopefully going to keep flood waters from going in.  The last flood we had four feet of water in the building," said Town Supervisor James Finch.

The flood caused an estimated 33 million dollars of damage to commercial buildings, including McKinney Real Estate in Binghamton. 

"We had about five feet of water in the building," said Mary Kay McKinney of McKinney Real Estate.  "The building was gutted we had to start from scratch."

McKinney says it took a year and a half to bring 60 employees back into their South Washington Street office.

"I know there's several businesses who are still working with insurance companies, myself included and with the SBA.  The Small Business Administration is pretty critical in helping businesses get back on their feet," said McKinney.

The County Executive says they will continue to put pressure of the state and federal governments to invest in flood mitigation programs. 

Already assured is a faster response time during disasters.  Broome is now home to a regional distribution center for emergency equipment.

"This saves us between three and five hours of getting emergency equipment that is critical when this happens," said Preston.

**Ali Warner Fox 40 HD News**



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