Catskill, NY – US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Chris Gibson joined local officials and first responders Wednesday for a briefing on flood damage and current conditions around Greene County. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there...
Homes, businesses, lifetimes of memories ... gone in the wake of Irene... the hurricane turned the Village of Catskill upside down. Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden says miles of roads and public infrastructure will have to be rebuilt. Village President Vince Seeley told Gillibrand and Gibson that people are coping the best they can given limited resources and spotty cell phone communications.
Donna Cissliano has operated the "Kids Only" store in the heart of the village for the past 15 years. The store services low income families who can't afford to pay full price at big box stores: before Irene hit she had just finished stocking up winter holiday inventory. Cissliano and her family evacuated when the water reached the door level... others like, Tanya Walsh, who lost her home and the family business, weren't so lucky.
Congressman Gibson says Washington has the funds to rebuild Catskill: President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in New York, freeing up federal recovery funds for people in the counties of Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Ulster. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs.