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Recovering from Irene

Town officials say Colonie got lucky during Tropical Storm Irene

According to Department of Public Works Commissioner Jack Cunningham, Tropical Storm Irene cleanup is expected to take three weeks to complete. Residents can contact FEMA and make claims to possibly receive low-cost loans or grants for uninsured losses by calling 1-800-621-3362 or visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.

According to Department of Public Works Commissioner Jack Cunningham, Tropical Storm Irene cleanup is expected to take three weeks to complete. Residents can contact FEMA and make claims to possibly receive low-cost loans or grants for uninsured losses by calling 1-800-621-3362 or visiting www.disasterassistance.gov. Photo by Andrew Beam.

— The storm has subsided and most of the water has dried up from the floods, but the Town of Colonie has announced plans for cleanup and assessing what kind of damage was suffered during Tropical Storm Irene.

As President Barack Obama announced that Albany County would be eligible for FEMA Disaster relief and Gov. Andrew Cuomo estimated damages would be around $1 billion in New York, The Town of Colonie is still in the beginning stages of estimating the costs of damages.

“We’re in the preliminary stages of damage assessment right now,” said Mike Rayball, director of the Emergency Management and Planning Department. “What we have to do is come up with an estimate of what the costs were. Departments are compiling overtime hours and equipment used and are identifying damages that were caused by the storm. Then we will sit down with representatives from FEMA and fine tune those.”

It will be a slow process, Rayball said, as the federal government will most likely move slow through the process since the scope of damage in the state and other areas is quite large. For businesses or individual assistance, Rayball said people will have to contact FEMA on their own, as the town does not get involved.

People can contact FEMA and make claims to possibly receive low cost loans or grants for uninsured losses by calling 1-800-621-3362 or visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.

The town is offering a service for residents to help pick up oversized debris created by Tropic Storm Irene beginning Sept. 12. Residents are also allowed to bring storm debris to the town’s landfill at no cost until Sept. 17.

“We’re in the preliminary stages of damage assessment right now,” said Mike Rayball, director of the Emergency Management and Planning Department. “What we have to do is come up with an estimate of what the costs were. Departments are compiling overtime hours and equipment used and are identifying damages that were caused by the storm. Then we will sit down with representatives from FEMA and fine tune those.”

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