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Storms Put a Financial Burden on Villages in 2011

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. –Tropical Storm Irene, the October snowstorm and other inclement weather put a burden on local villages this year in terms of recovery and cleanup costs.

Tropical Storm Irene blasted the local villages with flooding damage and widespread power outages. Hastings Village Manager Fran Frobel said expenses were approximately $21,000 from Irene cleanup alone.

“These costs were associated with debris removal, sandbag placement and basement pump out,” he said.

Con Edison’s website said Irene set an all-time high in terms of power outages in the service area with 187,800 customers losing power in New York City and Westchester County. The previous high was 173,000 outages in 2010 from a March snowstorm, according to its website.

Dobbs Ferry actually issued a state of emergency for the village before the tropical storm hit. Village officials even closed off the waterfront and had local residents remove any cars beforehand.

"We're actually telling people not to park on the waterfront after three o'clock due to the storm surge," said Dobbs Ferry Village Administrator Marcus Serrano before the storm hit.

The decision to block off the waterfront turned out to be the right one as most of the park was engulfed by flooding.

The October snowstorm was even more expensive to clean up than Irene. according to Frobel. The combination of heavy snow from the storm, rain and wind knocked down hordes of trees, which took a lot of power lines with them.

“The storm caused a greater number of homeowner problems,” Frobel said. “These included essentially loss of power for several days. Our costs were related to debris cleanup, and disposal besides the expense of the initial snow removal.”

Frobel estimated the cost of the snowstorm cleanup in Hastings at approximately $41,000 with everything considered.

“With some luck we should be reimbursed for upwards to 75 percent of our expenses from the federal government and some percentage of the remainder from the state,” Frobel said of damages from Irene.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner echoed similar statements and said the town is hopeful for its own aid.

“In 2011 Senator [Kirsten] Gillibrand helped the town secure over a million dollars in FEMA reimbursement for the 2010 storm - money we had hoped to receive but hadn't,” Feiner said in a message to residents. “We hope to get reimbursed for the 2011 storms.”

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