Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Moving the Wellsburg Fire House

Written By: Joe Melillo

FEMA came to Wellsburg to re-evaluate flood damage

FEMA in Wellsburg
 

May 24, 2012

Wellsburg (WENY) - The fire house in Wellsburg has been sitting in a flood zone for more than 100 years. Senator Chuck Schumer had a meeting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington asking them to reevaluate funding to move the Wellsburg fire station. FEMA's initial evaluation after Tropical Storm Lee fell just short of the 50-percent total damage needed to qualify for relief money. Today FEMA officials toured the flood ravaged building that's been flooded 6 different times in the past 100 years. Five years ago, Chemung county donated land for a new fire house, that land still sits empty. Wellsburg Mayor Malcolm Coles says the FEMA aid would be used to build a new fire house outside the flood zone.

“It's one of these things where the building has always been there we've been trying since the 1996 flood to move the fire station but again the local people here the tax payers cant afford this on their own.”

Mike Smith of the Chemung County Emergency management says the two groups made progress today.

“We at least today made some progress at understanding their concerns at least FEMA's concerns about how the original worksheets was completed we got a ways to go but at least we made some progress here understanding each others concern.”

FEMA will re-evaluate the amount of damage the Wellsburg fire house sustained. If it qualifies, 100 percent of the project would be funded.