State officials try to help village

FORT PLAIN – New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli told village residents Monday volunteers will help repair a Main Street home this weekend.

DiNapoli, along with Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, D-Rotterdam, and state Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, toured the village to see the extent of repairs made to homes and businesses damaged by flooding in June.

Standing in front of a home at 94 Main St., DiNapoli said volunteers would help put up wallboard and repair the home of Nicole Devoe. Her house was damaged when Otsquago Creek waters roared down Reid and Abbot Street before going into Main Street.

“We’re going to get you back in this house by Christmas,” DiNapoli told Devoe as he walked inside the house, the smell of mud and mildew filling the air.

Devoe, holding back tears, said since the flood, life has been difficult.

“It’s been murder,” she said. “I lived here for 19 years.”

Since the flooding, Devoe has lived in a trailer behind her home.

Tkaczyk said as the months go on, people tend to forget about lingering damages. However, Tkaczyk said local volunteers have done a great job stepping up and helping their neighbors.

“You guys did an extraordinary job being the public face of how to get together and solve our crisis,” Tkacyzk said, speaking to local volunteers and politicians.

DiNapoli said the tour allowed him to see the situation firsthand.

“We have, unfortunately, become accustomed to the fact, in upstate or downstate New York, these weather events are hitting our communities hard and in a very direct way,” DiNapoli said.

Jeff Stark, president of the Greater Capital Region Building and Construction Trades Council, said he will bring more than a dozen union construction workers to volunteer Saturday and work on Devoe’s home.

Guy Barton, mayor of Fort Plain, said he is happy to see the progress made in coming back from the flooding.

“The village has bounced back tremendously since the flood of June 28,” Barton said.

Barton thanked the work of the volunteers, saying they made the progress possible.

“We are very happy for the volunteers and all the help from [Gov. Andrew Cuomo], right down to everyone in the [state Legislature],” Barton said.

Barton said, in total, 10 homes were condemned because of the flooding.