Organizations in Schoharie County are kicking off the New Year with a new plan. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, recovering from 2011's Tropical Storm Irene is still the primary focus for 2013.
SCHOHARIE, N.Y. – “We're excited. It's a new year as we move ahead because we know we've made a lot of progress in the area,” said SALT Executive Director Sarah Goodrich.
So much progress that Schoharie Area Long Term Executive Director Sarah Goodrich was named the Times Journal 2012 Star of the Year. But even with the new jazzy title, the area's focus remains the same.
“We're trying to really wrap our head around pre-flood home owners trying to get back into their homes, but we have a lot of other more intricate problems arising. Houses that are in foreclosure, for sale,” said Schoharie Recovery Director Josh DeBartolo.
The first project for 2013 will be distributing this survey to people throughout the county to nail down where the biggest problem areas still are.
"The major goal of the survey is to find any unmet needs or people that have fallen through the cracks that still need help," said Goodrich.
One issue that's creeping up quickly...
“FEMA trailers will be pulled out in the beginning of March, so one of our big pushes right now is trying to target some of those homes specifically to get those people back in their homes so that they don't end up with another situation without having a place to stay,” DeBartolo said.
DeBartolo says nearly 50 percent of flooded properties in the village have been fixed. A number he only hopes can double in 2013.
Goodrich said, "It is a good feeling. We know that we're really making a difference for people and that we're helping."
Goodrich says two things that can help them are donations and volunteers.