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The community has pulled together and...all of the businesses are planning on being open Labor Day weekend.

New Yorkers work to get schools, businesses, and homes back to normal

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Roughly 20-percent of Vermont schools are delaying the start of classes because of damage from Irene. Most of the delays are because of washed out roads and damaged bridges that make it impossible for students to get school safely.

But few - if any - schools in New York are opening late.

Julie Grant reports on how New Yorkers are working to get schools, businesses, and homes back to normal after the storm.

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Julie Grant
Reporter and Producer

The BOCES for Clinton, Essex, Washington, and Warren Counties lists no reports of school opening delays.

Superintendent of Keene Central, Cynthia Ford-Johnston, says the Keene school building didn’t sustain any damage in the storm so they’re planning to open on schedule next week. 

The biggest issue, the superintendent admitted, are the roads: “We’re going to have to re-route buses and transportation routes for sure, but I’m holding off as long as I can to do that until I know what the town’s able to repair.”

The superintendent says she will be meeting with transportation officials on Tuesday, the day before school starts, to figure out routes.  She says some families have been displaced from their homes, so the district is working to locate them, and make sure the kids can get to school.  Ford-Johnston says they also need to figure out how to get students to school from Jay, because Route 9 between Jay and Keene is closed. 

The Keene Community Trust is partnering with the Adirondack Community Trust to open a special account for donations to help people harmed by the storm. A web site is being established, but in the meantime, contributions can be made out to ACT/Keene Flood Recovery Fund, and mailed to the Adirondack Community Trust. 

In the interest of full disclosure, we also feel we must mention that NCPR has an un-related partnership with the Adirondack Community Trust.

Meanwhile, business owners in Keene Valley, south of Keene, are worried about the closure of Route 9.  Marion Jeffers owns the Birch Store in downtown Keene Valley. 

"And I’m calling on behalf of all the business owners in Keene Valley who just survived the second hundred year storm in the last 3 months. The damage has been devastating.  However, the community has pulled together, and all of the businesses are planning on being opened Labor Day weekend."

Also on Wednesday, the Keene Community Trust has launched a Flood Recovery Fund.  Trustee Mike Buchanan says until now, the Trust has worked on issues like parking and education.  But now they’re looking to help individuals, business owners, and others with a full scale relief effort.

"Take for instance the fire house in Keene, the whole back of the firehouse is missing.  Lots of businesses have had a lot of water damage and mud.  A lot of people in this town never thought they’d need flood insurance, particularly those living up in the hills.  And we hope to help out as best as we can."

The Keene Community Trust is partnering with the Adirondack Community Trust on this effort.  They have opened a special account, and are encouraging donations to help people harmed by the storm.  A web site is being established – in the meantime, contributions can be made out to ACT/Keene Flood Recovery Fund, and mailed to the Adirondack Community Trust. 

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