WNYers' winter homes damaged are not FEMA eligible

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- While the country's focus is on those Floridians who lost their homes and possessions as Hurricane Irma hit, many Western New Yorkers who own property in the state are wondering how it weathered the storm.

FEMA is expected to cover millions of dollars of losses, but that money will not go to those people who live here in New York State and have winter or vacation homes down south.

"Damages to a secondary or vacation home are not eligible under FEMA's disaster assistance program," FEMA says. "However, if you own a secondary home that is rented out or occupied by a family member, you may be eligible for a low-interest loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA)."

No matter the assistance, many people here who have second homes in Florida wonder how quickly they will be able to survey the damage.

While the vast majority of counties and municipalities have lifted curfews and allowed evacuees to return home, emergency managers ask visitors to give the professionals more time to make sure hard-hit areas are safe.

Almost 9,500 flights in Florida have been cancelled over the past week, according to a FlightAware announcement at 6:30 a.m. Monday.

Major airports in Miami, Tampa and Orlando remained closed Monday, but they hoped to re-start operations Tuesday.

In the Florida Keys, it will take much longer.

"The Keys are not open for business," Monroe County, Florida officials said on Facebook, asking people not to return to their homes just yet. "Please be patient."

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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