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Niskayuna recovers from storm

At a quiet Niskayuna Town Board Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 16, it was evident that life is slowly returning to normal after a major ice storm hit the area last week.

According to Town Supervisor Joe Landry, there were still around 700 customers without power at the time of the meeting, but the number was down from the 6,000 affected at the height of the storm.

Board members discussed the storm damage and also expressed gratitude to residents and others who have pitched in to get the town back in full working order.

There are still a few closed roads in town, as well as debris piled in front of houses for pickup. Due to the magnitude of the damage, cleanup is expected to take some time. Crews have been working long hours since the storm first hit Thursday, Dec. 11.

Certainly there are a lot of people that have power now, but there are certainly a lot that don't, so we have to think of those in the cleanup, said Councilwoman Diane O'Donnell. "Our crews started working at 10 p.m. on Thursday and worked straight through until Friday [and then through the weekend]. Our costs are mounting, and that will certainly be a challenge for us."

In terms of working on cleanup, O'Donnell said, they have 27 of the 30 highway and park employees working.

"We're pretty, pretty busy, and I think that people have worked countless hours," said O'Donnell.

Councilwoman Liz Orzel Kasper discussed the event and how it has not been without its positive aspects.

"I really think it brought out the best in neighbors. I talked to neighbors who I haven't seen or talked to in weeks and weeks," said Orzel Kasper. "People volunteered to come by with their saws. I think that things like this make you a better person and make you worry about everyone -- not just yourself."

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