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Supervisors voice concerns over post-flood issues

Route 9N, a road that connects several area towns between Keene and Upper Jay, was one of many roads that was destroyed by flooding.

Route 9N, a road that connects several area towns between Keene and Upper Jay, was one of many roads that was destroyed by flooding. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— “They are taking things that are a hazard, like dead animals and propane and fuel tanks that were washed into the river,” Jaquish said.

Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava said that he felt the crews needed to be able to continue to work in the rivers with their machinery, despite claims otherwise.

“You can’t get the big debris out of these rivers and streams without machines,” Scozzafava said. “If you do not do something to these rivers and streams, things will be right back to where we are now, and that will only take a matter of time.”

Douglas said that federal help is needed to bring in experienced people to deal with the situation.

“We have road workers on our highway crews, we don’t have engineers,” Douglas said.

Douglas also said that he was concerned that there needed to be more done to help those who were affected by the storm, including second home owners.

“They can’t afford to fix these places up when they have $1 million in damages and only qualify for $100,000 in SBA loans,” Douglas said. “They are coming in, throwing their keys on my desk and telling me that they are not dealing with the property anymore and are never coming back.”

Hawkins said that for those who feel they did not get an appropriate answer on their request for aid, those people need to appeal the decision.

“Don’t always go with the first response,” Hawkins said. “You can always appeal.”

Douglas also said that he would support residents in Jay, where 150-plus homes were affected by the flooding, who chose to receive a buyout on their homes and relocate.

“I will support them, but you are losing the identity, the tax base and some long-time family members of the community,” Douglas said.

Keene Supervisor William “Bill” Ferebee said that he wanted officials in charge of relief efforts to do what Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others have done.

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