Sodus Point flooding

Sandbags were placed all around Sodus Point to try to protect homes and businesses from the rising waters of Lake Ontario earlier this year.

ALBANY — Homeowners on the Lake Ontario shoreline whose residences have suffered damage from record flooding in 2019 have a short window to apply for financial assistance.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that the application period for the 2019 Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Flood Relief and Recovery Program is now open to homeowners directly impacted by historic Lake Ontario flooding from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30.

Homeowners in Wayne, Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties are eligible to apply to receive up to $50,000 in state funding to help offset damages to their primary residences, but they must do so by Oct. 31.

Cuomo’s office said only applications for primary residences will be accepted, but that the program has “committed to evaluating secondary homeownership should funding still be available once primary homes have been addressed.”

Cuomo said that “historic flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River has had severe consequences for homeowners, and it is vital that New York State intervene and lend a helping hand. While the state continues to focus on regionally significant rebuilding and resiliency efforts, the $20 million available for homeowners will provide much needed financial relief and is a major step forward for families recovering from these devastating floods.”

The program is being administered through New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Go to https://hcr.ny.gov/lake-ontario-st-lawrence-river-flood-relief-and-recovery-grant-program for more information.

Applications must address damage incurred to primary residences, which sustained direct physical flood-related damage that threatens the safety of the home, Cuomo’s office said.

Besides the flood aid, Cuomo’s office noted the creation of REDI, a multi-agency commission studying ways to strengthen infrastructure along Lake Ontario’s waterfront while bolstering the region’s local economies. The state has committed up to $300 million to rebuild the shoreline and improve resiliency in flood-prone regions along Lake Ontario.

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