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December 13, 2012

FEMA OKs Essex County flood-property buyout

(Continued)

The damage had to have occurred during Tropical Storm Irene, in August 2011, or Tropical Storm Lee, in September 2011.

U.S. Soil and Water District Manager David Reckahn also brought good news when he announced that a stream-bank remediation project for rivers and streams damaged by Irene will start this week.

“It’s like an early Christmas for my people,” Douglas said.

FLOOD EFFECTS LINGER

The county also has an application in to FEMA for payment for non-substantially damaged properties, but Mascarenas said there’s no word on that yet.

“Essentially, those properties are either less than 50 percent damaged and in a flood plain or more than 50 percent damaged and not in the 100-year flood plain. FEMA runs a benefit costs analysis to determine the likelihood of those homes being flooded again.”

Mascarenas said many people are still affected by the storms a year and half later.

“They are struggling to make ends meet as they are trying to pay a mortgage on a house they can’t live in, while paying rent and providing for their families. We are hopeful that within the next few months we can get these people as back to normal as possible.”

Several people have worked very hard to help make sure this happens, he said, including Douglas and Ferebee.

“(They) have been working with FEMA since last August to ensure the people in their communities get what they most desperately need,” Mascarenas said. “Lynn Donaldson of the Office of Community Resources stepped up and did much of the legwork.

“We are most happy that this project is moving forward.”

75 PERCENT

One of those in the buyout program, Linda Deyo of Route 9 in Keene, said the announcement is good news, but they don’t know the amount FEMA is proposing to pay them.

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