Schoharie residents gather one year after Tropical Storms Irene and Lee
Posted at: 08/29/2012 1:09 AM
By: Dan Bazile
SCHOHARIE -- Home is the village of Schoharie for a crowd that gathered on Main Street to mark the anniversary of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee. They did so in song and in prayer, bringing back a rush of emotions.
"Everyday seems to be emotional for all of us still," said Schoharie resident Bill Farrell.
Residents like Bill Farrell spent the past year cleaning up after the storms that left the village in ruins. Homes and businesses were flooded, some with as much as 8 feet of water. Many people had to start all over again. One year later, there's still a lot of work to be done. However, residents felt the recovery so far was enough to call the gathering a celebration.
"We're in a good place now. The village has quite a ways to go but we're getting there," said Leslie Price, owner of J. Lacy's Hair Salon on Main Street.
Her business was among many that have already reopened. J. Lacy's Hair Salon swung its doors open for the first time on Tuesday with a ribbon cutting.
"It's been a year. I knew it would happen. I just didn't know when. It's exciting. I have not stopped smiling," Price said.
One of her first clients was Josh DeBartolo, the director of Schoharie Recovery.
"I had a lot of people say you're starting to put the hairy in Schoharie," DeBartolo said.
He refused to cut his hair since the flood. He turned that into a fund raising effort by promising to get it done at a local salon as he collected donations.
"I said you know for $10,000 toward the flood recovery, we'd get it going. I'm proud to say we raised over $14,500," DeBartolo said.
That money will be used toward the recovery in Schoharie. There are people still living in FEMA trailers. Price, who just opened up her hair salon, is one of them. Only about a third of the residents are back in their homes.