It is amazing and wonderful to see the donations and help coming from area communities for the victims of Irene and Lee. It has been almost a month since the first of many natural disasters occurred in our area and still, people continue to help. A trailer full of food, water, cleaning supplies, personal items, etc., continues to be at Scott Hall at the Fonda fairgrounds. Area Presbyterian Church youth were supposed to be on a canoe retreat last weekend but switched gears and made the event a mission trip to Schoharie to help clean up buildings. A benefit dinner to help victims in Rotterdam Junction will be held on Oct. 2nd at Carm’s Restaurant, 140 Freemans Bridge Road, Scotia.
New York’s Libraries Information Network has sent out a call for help for the Schoharie Free Library and the Middleburgh Library. These facilities lost or sustained heavy damage to their book collections. Several bookstores have established funds to help them replace books. To donate for these libraries, contact the Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady, Market Block Books in Troy, or Book House in Colonie.
The State’s Storm Relief Appliance Rebate Program is still active and is an appliance grant program for residents who sustained property damage. Administered through NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), it is for residents who were affected specifically by Irene or Lee and will be for products that were not covered by insurance or FEMA. For applications and information, visit www.NYSApplianceRebates.com, or call 1-877-NY-SMART (877-697-6278).
Lastly, FEMA Disaster Assistance Centers are still open at the Riverfront Center’s parking lot in Amsterdam and in the Rotterdam Square Mall. If you have not applied for FEMA assistance, I strongly urge you to go now before their offices close. My Amsterdam staff spoke with the Montgomery County center staff who said they are open Mondays through Saturdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you cannot travel to these centers, call FEMA at (800) 621-3362.