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Saratoga County begins cleaning up storm debris

Clifton Park highway crews rolled out Wednesday and will continue using chainsaws and chippers to manage the debris removal throughout this week and next, scheduled to end Friday, Jan. 26. Meanwhile, officials throughout the county praised the efforts of the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) that moved into action Monday to assist residents.

In Clifton Park, about 45 senior citizens and town residents of all ages with medical needs received a personal phone call through the "RUOK" program, in which people pre-register to receive calls checking their safety during times of emergency.

Barbara McHugh, community development officer for the town of Clifton Park, said the program worked well during the storm.

In Malta, volunteers also stepped up to the plate.

"All the CERT members are volunteers, and their good training came through," said Audrey Ball, director of the town of Malta Community Center.

The community center opened Monday night as a warming shelter, providing hot soup and coffee, light meals, potable water and cots to sleep on in meeting rooms.

Many residents took advantage of the chance to warm up, bringing their pets in as well to ward off the chill.

CERT volunteers manned the warming shelter 24 hours a day through Wednesday at 8 p.m.

"It worked very smoothly," said Ball. "We want to get the word out that we're here in any emergency. But we hope this never happens again."

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