Just yesterday Gardner Street in Whitesboro was full of water. Firefighters were on scene pumping the water out of people's homes for hours as residents stood outside trying to figure out where to turn next. Now it appears that what's left is just mud and puddles of water, but that is far from the reality.
"I am so sad and angry," said Irena Tamszewski, "I don't know how to explain my feelings right now."
Irena Tamszewski has owned the business plaza, along with the Laundromat and Dry-Cleaners in the plaza, on the corner of Oriskany Boulevard and Gardner Street for 25 years. Her two businesses were flooded and the parking lot torn up.
"I don't have flood insurance because I never needed it," she said. Tamszewski said she's been so happy serving her wonderful customers for years, but now doesn't know if she can stay in the business.
Whitesboro Village Mayor Brenda Gilberti said the Village Firefighters and Department of Public Works have been working around the clock to get all the water out and assist residents with everything they need. She says Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente and Senator Joseph Griffo have reached out to Governor Cuomo to ask for extra assistance. Like many other people, Tamszewski says now she is just waiting to see what help she can get from the state or village.
"I don't know who can help and who's going to fix the problem. The problem has to be fixed, not waiting and talking, they have to do something," said Tamszewski.
She says the last time it flooded (a few weeks ago), she applied for FEMA aid but was denied. Mayor Gilberti says the village has taken all the necessary steps to allow Whitesboro residents to become eligible for FEMA aid. If you'd like to apply for FEMA aid, visit disasterassistance.gov or you can call (800)621-3362.