Lupardo Announces Flood Summit to be Held in Binghamton

Event will address state and local flood responses

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) announced that Governor Eliot Spitzer will convene a summit for state and local officials in Binghamton on February 28, 2008 to explore issues regarding the repetitive devastating flooding that has occurred in various regions of the state over the last three years, threatening the safety of residents and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. The event will be held at the Regency Hotel, the site of major flooding in 2006.

The summit will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, February 28, and will run until approximately 1:15 p.m. It will be held at the Binghamton Regency Hotel at 1 Sarbro Square in Binghamton. The entire proceeding will be webcast over the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) website at

“I appreciate Governor Spitzer’s leadership in taking this important step to convene the summit and provide local officials and agencies the opportunity to come together and work on new ways to provide disaster assistance and mitigate damage resulting from future floods,” said Lupardo. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the legislature, as well as the governor and his administration.”

Last year, Lupardo helped establish a flood caucus in the State Legislature, made up of members from the Assembly and Senate representing areas around the state affected by the devastating floods of 2006. They met with Governor Eliot Spitzer’s chief public safety advisor, Michael Balboni, the Deputy Secretary for Public Safety, and recommended that the Governor schedule a flood summit here in Binghamton.

“Nearly two years ago, the Southern Tier underwent some of the most dramatic flood destruction in recent history,” said Lupardo. “Incidents such as the 2006 flooding caused untold damage to homes, lives and businesses.”

Over the last four years, nine flood events occurred in New York resulting in major federal disaster declarations. The cost of these events was staggering with nearly $500 million spent for emergency response and repairs to the public infrastructure alone.

“It is important that New York’s leaders be prepared to respond to and if possible, ease the damage of these horrific events,” said Lupardo. “The flood summit will help to develop strategies to cope with devastation brought by flooding.”

At the summit, representatives of the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition will discuss watershed management topics such as stream maintenance, streambank stabilization and permitting. Representatives from the National Weather Service and the Steuben County Office of Emergency Management will discuss river and stream monitoring systems, and alert and notification. A third panel comprised of representatives from DEC, the State Police, the Office of Fire Prevention and Control, SEMO and the Broome County Office of Emergency Services will discuss search and rescue issues.