Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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National Grid aides flood victims

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Albany/HV: National Grid aides flood victims
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A power company is offering much more than electricity and gas to Schoharie County flood victims. As our Maria Valvanis tells us, they're also offering their time and money to help on their road to recovery.

SCHOHARIE COUNTY, N.Y. -- J-Lacy Hair Salon owner Leslie Price said, "After emptying your retirements and selling your jewelry, thank god National Grid came along."

With more than $100,000 worth of flood damages, Price didn't know how she would afford rebuilding her Main Street salon. But thanks to a $25,000 grant from National Grid, Price is getting ready to open business doors again.

"It made the rebuilding a possibility, rebuilding this quickly, I know some people say 10 months, is that quick, well, given the devastation this is very quick," said Price.

National Grid has implemented an Emergency Economic Development Program, aimed at helping local businesses, like Price’s, get back on their feet.

National Grid Director of Customer and Community Management William Flaherty said, "We've awarded more than $2 million in support, including $1.4 million to grants to 65 small businesses."

And relief efforts don't stop there. The electric company has allotted up to $6 million in grants through the end of this year.

"National Grid, through this entire recovery process, has acted more like a neighbor, than a corporation," said New York State Senator James Seward.

And one employee actually is a neighbor who took his volunteer efforts to the next step, raising more than $40,000 for the community, by selling his book documenting the flood.

"It just makes me happy to know, nothing more, that we've done something to improve their lives in a positive way," said National Grid overhead line supervisor Jeff VanDeusen.

"National Grid has been an important factor in making sure that we could get to this point, that we could celebrate, even these small steps, when we know so much more is ahead of us," said Schoharie County Planning and Development Representative Sarah Blood.

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