Press-Republican

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August 31, 2012

A year later, buyouts still uncertain

KEENE — Linda Deyo waded through waist-deep water to escape her home when Tropical Storm Irene hit last August.

A year later, it’s paperwork she must wade through to get the Federal Emergency Management Agency to buy her wrecked property in the Town of Keene.

“We’re in the process,” she said. “We’re waiting for word from FEMA. It’s a little discouraging. You don’t know if you’re going to get any money for your old property.”

She and her husband, Danny, had to buy a new house. The old one off Route 9 in the town’s hamlet of Keene was destroyed by flood waters.

“We left when we realized the water was coming through the house,” Mrs. Deyo said. “I knew it was faster and harder than the previous flood (in June 2011). I took things upstairs.”

As well, she said, “we had to get horses and dogs out.”

She said she’s never seen a flood of that magnitude.

“It was an amazing occurrence. I had a barn that was picked up and smashed to pieces. It was truly unreal to see huge white pines floating down the river on both sides of the house.”

TWO BUYOUT PROGRAMS

The Deyos are among 69 homeowners in the North Country waiting to find out whether FEMA will buy them out.

Some areas were really hard hit, like Grove Road and the Jersey section of AuSable Forks, and multiple buyout applications were submitted from people who lived on those streets.

Essex County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said Grove Road — the site of a 1998 FEMA buyout of about 20 homes — was hit hard again, along with the town’s youth facilities there. Many homes on Route 9N in Upper Jay were also destroyed this time, he said, and there was severe damage in Keene and other communities, as well. 

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