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After effects of Irene still being felt in Essex County

Project Hope Field Coordinator Mike Bigley talks with Gretch Sando, program coordinator for Project Hope Clinton/Essex.

Project Hope Field Coordinator Mike Bigley talks with Gretch Sando, program coordinator for Project Hope Clinton/Essex. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— Bigley said the offices are seeing 70 percent more people in need of services now than they did right after Irene hit the region on Aug. 28.

“The good news is people still made it and weren’t affected,” Bigley said. “The bad news is people (in the area) are still suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.”

Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas and Keene Town Supervisor Bill Ferebee shared their experiences during the tropical storm and said where the most need in their communities still lie.

“Our residents, their lives are turned upside down. They are still reaching out for help,” Douglas said.

The program will run at least through the one-year anniversary of Irene. Ferebee said he hopes anyone out there in need of the services offered takes advantage of the assistance.

“We have a strong community and no one wants to ask for help its just the way they are they’re tough,” Ferebee said. “If you see someone who needs assistance, let us know and we’ll try to help them.”

Throughout the North Country, Irene affected parts of the region differently. Within a 20-mile area, Sando said one place could be completely untouched while farther down the road the area is devastated.

“My concern is if you live in the area that didn’t experience or sustain any damage, they can’t understand,” Sando said. “It’s not over. There are still people who are displaced and there are still people who have lost all their belongings and there are emotional impacts that are ongoing, and we will continue to be here and help those people in any way we can.”

Project Hope will continue to go door to door and hold informational meetings for the public until after the one year anniversary of Irene. For more information on the upcoming events, visit online at ProjectHope.org or call 524-9616.

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