Two years after Irene, SALT looks back, ahead
By Patsy Nicola
September 3, 2013
In an event that was equal parts solemn remembrance and forging ahead, SALT-Schoharie Area Longterm-along with about 40 rebuilding volunteers and local officials-marked the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Irene Wednesday at 147 Bridge Street, Schoharie, where an exposed foundation still waits of recovery.
SALT has plans for the site, which has been acquired by the Village of Schoharie’s Local Development Corporation:
With the help of still more skilled volunteers, the home will be rebuilt and then sold to a family looking for a home in Schoharie.
“This is a day of pain, but also of pride and praise,” Rev. Sherri Meyer-Veen, SALT’s co-chair, told the crowd.
And even as recovery remains ongoing, she said, “The emotional pain of this community remains very real.”
Looking back to August 28, 2011, SALT Executive Director Sarah Goodrich remembered pain and despair-as well as the sense of urgency that something had to be done.
“It was frightening because we could see it would be a long fight,” she said, “but I could see that we could come back bigger and better. I still believe that.”
Rebuilding efforts have involved more than 35,000 volunteers and $10 million worth of labor and donations-thanks to partnerships with organizations like Schoharie Recovery.
Still, Ms. Goodrich said, hundreds of homes are still waiting for help-many of them with major problems like water and sewer issues, mortgage debt, and difficulties with insurance or banks.
SALT will continue to identify gaps and looks for ways to address them by leveraging existing partnerships, she said.
SALT will be working with the Village of Schoharie to rebuild the village offices.
SALT will use the space for its own offices while the town and village continue to share quarters till SALT no longer needs the room.
Ms. Goodrich said SALT is still looking for both skilled volunteers and donations-as well as people who need their help.
“We need each of you here to keep telling our story,” she added.