Monday, September 01, 2014

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Amsterdam, one year after Irene

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Albany/HV: Amsterdam, one year after Irene
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It's been a year full of decisions, crisis and opportunity for flood victims in the City of Amsterdam. But as YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, for many, it's not over yet as the community works to bring back, pieces of its history.

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- Walter Elwood Museum Executive Director Ann Peconie said, "Never, I never, oddly enough I thought we'd be back in the manor, I never realized it'd need so much construction."

Artifacts from the Walter Elwood Museum, remain in storage, as the board works to purchase the Noteworthy Complex and start a new beginning. Executive Director Ann Peconie tells us the last 365 days have passed quickly, but certainly not easily.

"It has been difficult in terms of finding out everything, and every day looking for something and realizing, oh we lost that too, it was a very, very emotional and traumatic time for me," Peconie said.

And just across the way, the 1920 family owned Russo's Bar and Grill lost nearly three months of business, having to deal with more than four feet of water in their dining room.

"That was not something we were prepared to handle at that time. When they walked in and saw all the damage, nobody thought we were going to reopen," said Mike Russo, owner of Russo Bar and Grill.

Fortunately, the restaurant was able to re-open and even keep pieces of Irene around, as a reminder. Up stream, the city is looking to turn the flooding of their train station, into a positive.

"Their intentions are to move the train station down closer to where they're going to be putting up the pedestrian bridge and hopefully that will bring more people in," said Richard Leggiero, Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam.

Another way, Legierro says, of looking on the bright side of a rather dark situation. Because after all of the devastation, everyone's looking for a happy ending.

"It felt great. As soon as the sign went on, people started piling in," said Russo.

"We have to be patient, so were trying to be anxiously excited, but patient as well, we're ready to move," said Peconie.

And even with all the difficulties the city has faced, the community remains hopeful, that by this time next year, all of this will be behind them.

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