Lupardo, Crouch, Cahill Take Steps to Organize Bi-Partisan Flood Caucus

Legislators write to request meeting with Governor’s top public safety advisor
March 21, 2007

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced today Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) and Assemblyman Clifford Crouch (R-Guilford) will join her in the creation of a bi-partisan flood caucus in the Legislature. The first action the caucus will be a formal request for a meeting with the Governor’s chief public safety advisor.

“Communities and individuals affected by last year’s floods have shown tremendous resilience,” Lupardo said. “We owe it to them to find ways to reduce future flooding and to establish safeguards for the areas most severely impacted.”

“As legislators who represent areas that have historically been devastated by repeated flood events, it is important that we partner together to carry a unified voice to express our concerns,” said Assemblyman Crouch. “It is imperative that we work together to improve communication amongst ourselves and be able to strengthen our ability to mitigate future disasters.”

“The mission of this bi-partisan group of legislators is to make sure that every community that could possibly be affected by future flooding will have a well thought out plan in effect that is tailored to the needs of their residents,” said Mr. Cahill. “We need to make sure that we address every situation and explore every viable solution so that we do not again experience the piecemeal reactions we have seen in response to the major flood events of recent years.”

The caucus will be comprised of legislators representing counties affected by flooding. The members will work together to identify new ways to provide assistance and mitigate damage resulting from future floods.

Over the last few years, massive and unprecedented flooding has devastated the Catskill, Hudson Valley, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier regions of the state, resulting in the loss of life and millions of dollars in damage. This presents a continued threat to the safety and security of communities throughout Upstate.

The caucus first plans to consult with Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Michael Balboni, who is Governor Spitzer’s top advisor for homeland security issues. Prior to his appointment he served as the Chair of the Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs Committee in the Senate.

“It is critical that we take additional steps to ensure that when the next flood occurs, we minimize the impact it has on our residents and local governments,” said Lupardo. “I look forward to working with my colleagues, the governor and his new administration.”