Volunteers still needed in Schoharie
It's been about nine months since Tropical Storm Irene hit Schoharie County, damaging many homes and businesses. The Director of Schoharie Recovery estimates more than 10,000 volunteers have helped the area rebuild. But as YNN's Beth Croughan shows us, those efforts are still well underway.
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SCHOHARIE, N.Y. -- "I can apologize. I was disconnected until I came here," said Mitchell Havens, a Field Operations Director for LaChase Construction.
It was about a month ago when Havens made his first trip to Schoharie since Tropical Storm Irene. He came with a crew from LeChase Construction to deliver refrigerators, but he wasn't quite sure of what they would see.
"Oh, the first place we walked into, I mean you're looking at mud still up on top of the windows. And the smell of mildew," Havens said.
That is when Havens said they realized they needed to come back. "We need to continue to do stuff. It's out of the limelight and it's gotten out of the limelight. It's still gonna be here for another year, nobody's in their homes yet, half these people," he said.
Saturday, about 25 volunteers formed construction crews and with donated tools and supplies, they donated their skills to five Schoharie homes.
They installed flooring and foundation, removed debris and built stairs and walls. But those five homes are among hundreds still in need of rebuilding and repairs.
"We still have a great need. And the amount of work still far exceeds the number of volunteers that we have," said Josh DeBartolo, the Director of Schoharie Recovery, Inc.
DeBartolo said they keep track of the projects by taking surveys and said volunteers have helped to complete about 20 percent them. "Still a long road ahead, yes. It will still be years before everything is completely done. But we're trying to cut that time down as much as we can," he said.