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News stories tagged with "keene"

This sign greeted volunteers during Gov. Cuomo "Labor for Your neighbor" visit last week.
This sign greeted volunteers during Gov. Cuomo "Labor for Your neighbor" visit last week.

Route 73 open, Cuomo says Adirondacks "Open for Business"

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was in the Adirondacks once again Monday morning, this time to announce the reopening of state Route 73 outside Keene Valley.

Appearing in the tiny hamlet of St. Hubert's, Cuomo was joined by Joan McDonald - commissioner of the state Department of Transportation - as well as local and state lawmakers.

Cuomo stressed that reopening Route 73 is vital to the area's economic health, especially with fall foliage season right around the corner.

Chris Morris was on hand for Monday's ribbon cutting and has this report.  Go to full article
We will motivate the insurance companies with every tool we have to make sure they pay the claims they owe...

State officials in Keene offer assistance, say they'll keep tabs on insurance companies

State officials are urging homeowners and businesses to get the ball rolling on filing insurance claims following Tropical Storm Irene.

Benjamin Lawsky is superintendent of New York's Banking Department, which will become the state Department of Financial Services following an October merger with the state's Insurance Department. He was in Essex County Wednesday to meet with elected officials and survey damage left behind by Irene's wake.

State Senator Betty Little was also there to update town officials on steps she's taking to alleviate the financial burden that's been heaped upon flood victims.  Go to full article
Work was underway in Keene yesterday, here in the backyard of a home that backs up to the severely eroded river bed.
Work was underway in Keene yesterday, here in the backyard of a home that backs up to the severely eroded river bed.

Cuomo plans return to the Adirondacks today

Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans a return to the Adirondacks this afternoon. He's scheduled to come to Keene at 2 pm, as part of his "Labor for Your Neighbor" flood recovery project.

New York Senator Charles Schumer visited the North Country yesterday to view flood-stricken communities along the Ausable River. According to the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, Schumer stopped in Keeseville, Black Brook and Jay.

He urged local residents hit by tropical storm Irene to sign up with FEMA, the Federal agency that is helping with individual assistance payments. A FEMA office has been opened in the town hall in Ausable Forks.

Meanwhile, over the weekend clean-up efforts continued, with the help of National Guard troops and huge numbers of volunteers.  Go to full article
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

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.  Go to full article
The Wake Up Call in Keene. Photo: Susan Waters
The Wake Up Call in Keene. Photo: Susan Waters

In Keene, Cuomo announces waiver of APA permitting requirements for Irene repairs

Governor Cuomo was in the Adirondacks today, and he made a few announcements about post-Irene recovery.

First, Cuomo established the Upstate Storm and Flooding Recovery Task Force, to coordinate disaster response and recovery efforts for the North Country, Catskills, Upper Hudson Valley, and Mohawk Valley.

In a press release, Cuomo's office said the task force would "ensure seamless communication between agencies" to coordinate infrastructure rebuilding, economic development, agricultural renewal, power restoration, and assistance with private insurance.  Go to full article
The ruins of the Keene fire hall (Photo: Kathy Regan)
The ruins of the Keene fire hall (Photo: Kathy Regan)

Tropical Storm Irene: The View from the Adirondacks

After an aerial tour of upstate New York today, Governor Cuomo is saying the damage caused by Tropical storm Irene is "devastating".

At an afternoon press conference, the governor and Director of State Operations Howard Glaser spelled out the response so far but warned there is much more work to be done.

Statewide, Glaser says more than 808,000 people remain without power, down from about 945,000 earlier today. And it could be days before power is restored--especially for people in rural areas.

There have been 191 rescues.

Cuomo said the damage has been tremendous but ``will get worse
before it gets better.''

Much of that damage is here in the North Country, where many communities are still dealing with emergency situations. In the Adirondacks, a massive dump of rain caused streams and rivers to roar through mountain communities.

Our Adirondack bureau chief Brian Mann, was on the road all day, traveling from Moriah and Port Henry up through Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. He spoke with Nora Flaherty.  Go to full article
A snapshot from Keene Valley this morning. Photo: Sadie Holbrook.
A snapshot from Keene Valley this morning. Photo: Sadie Holbrook.

New York, North Country assess Irene's wake; flash flood hits Keene

New Yorkers are watching rising creeks and rivers this morning. The Associated Press reports more than 900,000 homes were without power, more National Guard soldiers were deployed to clean-ups, and major highways and roads remained closed.

At least three deaths were blamed on the tropical storm. One thousand National Guard troops deployed over the weekend are to be augmented Monday with more engineers to help clear streets and debris and restore power.

Irene was no longer a hurricane by the time it hit the North Country counties, but it still packed a powerful punch. As of 10:30 last night, dozens of roads in Essex County were closed, the county's emergency radio system was off the air, many people remained stranded by high water and the county was in a state of emergency.

More than 100 roads in the county are closed because of flooding, washouts and high water threatening bridges. While the damage was widespread, County Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish said Keene and Keene Valley were hit the hardest. The Keene fire station was swept away by the floodwaters. "It's been washed away," Jacquish said last night.

People in Keene and Keene Valley had evacuated and Jacquish's crews were preparing evacuations in Upper Jay. He anticipated severe flooding in the hamlet of AuSable Forks, calling the crest of the East branch of the Ausable "unprecedented."

Brian Mann was in Keene early this morning. Talking with Martha Foley, he described a community devastated by the flash flooding.  Go to full article
This home's foundation has been wrecked by shifting earth
This home's foundation has been wrecked by shifting earth

Rainstorms trigger slide in Keene Valley, threatening homes

Weeks of relentless rain have destabilized a massive section of hillside in the Adrian's Acres neighborhood in Keene Valley, which sits on the slopes of Porter Mountain.

Town and state officials say an area roughly a half-mile wide has begun to shift, slumping downward several inches each day.

One vacation home has already been condemned, and one other house evacuated. At least four more homes are threatened.

Brian Mann was on Porter Mountain yesterday and has our story.  Go to full article
Cynthia Ford-Johnston (Photo:  Keene Central School)
Cynthia Ford-Johnston (Photo: Keene Central School)

The North Country's smallest school districts under fire

This week we've been looking at big cuts in state aid that are hitting schools in New York state. Governor Andrew Cuomo has specifically targeted more than 200 very small school districts, with fewer than a thousand students.

He says many of these hyper-small districts are inefficient and should be consolidated as a cost-savings measure. His budget included a $250 million incentive fund to encourage schools to consider mergers. It turns out, more than forty school districts here in the North Country fall under that thousand-kid threshold, and many more of our districts just barely exceed that number.

Cynthia Ford-Johnston is superintendent of Keene Central School in the Adirondacks, which has roughly 170 students, pre-K though high school. She told Brian Mann that small schools face enormous pressure now to consider mergers.  Go to full article
Broadband internet should be something that every home and business in the town of Keene, and in general, should have.

Keene paves way for broadband

The North Country has had mixed success in winning Federal stimulus dollars to expand broadband internet service to rural towns and villages. But the Essex County town of Keene has moved forward with a grassroots effort, using a mix of grants and local fund raising, along with new, less expensive technology.

As Chris Morris reports, the organizers hope their project will serve as a model for other communities in the region.  Go to full article

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