HAMBURG, N.Y. — People who live along the shoreline near Hoover Beach watched and worried as the water levels continued to rise for months.
"We just knew here as a community that one bad storm was gonna kill us, and it did," said Allen Radominski, a Hamburg resident.
During the Halloween windstorm, Radominski evacuated his home around 9:30 p.m. and later came back to the siding ripped off his house and severe flooding.
Dozens of property owners along the lakefront faced the same obstacles, including Hank Kleinfelder.
"We had at least three sea walls that had catastrophic failures. They just totally collapsed," said Kleinfelder.
That led to flooding not only to the houses immediately along the shoreline but also across the street.
"The combination of the wave action and the debris that was in the waves," Kleinfelder said. "I mean we had trees that were thousands of pounds that were being catapulted at our walls and our houses."
Now about three weeks later, with no apparent solution.
So, people impacted filled the Hamburg Town Hall meeting room looking for answers. Many left the meeting still feeling frustrated.
During the meeting, Sean Crotty, the town's emergency manager said, "Right now we do not have a federal declaration from FEMA giving us federal assets and funds. That is still being worked on. We've been meeting with the state. We met with them three times in the last week. FEMA was out yesterday inspecting with us, going over some damage."
"There's no structures or plan in place for people or government to affect the water levels," said Lauren Schifferle with the Army Corps of Engineers during her presentation at the meeting.
While the town works to bring in resources from the state and federal levels, community members tell us they're fearful of what could be around the corner.
"You can see from the significant damage of the walls right now that if there's another event, they're not going to be able to withstand the forces," Kleinfelder said.
"You want to put money into it. You wanna fix it. For what, to have it happen again? So it's kinda tough," said Radominski.
So, what's the next step?
Kleinfelder is working on a proposal for the town board to apply for a FEMA pre-damage mitigation grant.
The town will be the lead agent on the proposal and the goal of the project would be to build structures to help reduce wave action along the shoreline.
That will be discussed at the next town board meeting in December.