New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Praised for Storm Recovery Efforts

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo receives praise for his brain child “Labor Your Neighbor,” a volunteer program designed to encourage New Yorkers to help each other. The program has been deemed an overwhelming success by area newspapers. A couple of days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a volunteer program to help with cleanup after Tropical Storm Irene, more than 1,000 people have signed up to help.

Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto said the response to program has been overwhelming, and he wants volunteers to check their email for specific information on assignments.The governor’s office is now trying to balance the cleanup needs of the hardest-hit areas – the Catskills, Schoharie County and the North Country. They do not want to send too many volunteers to any one area.

Prattsville
Prattsville, NY flooding

The public can sign up at http://www.governor.ny.gov/laborforyourneighbor to assist in cleanup of private and public property.Volunteers will be taken to the affected areas from various meeting points, the National Guard and workers from the state Emergency Management Office will supervise the efforts. A number of businesses have donated cleaning products, tools, and food and water.

According to the Governor’s website, “The Governor will kick off a volunteer effort, ‘Labor for your Neighbor’ on Labor Day weekend to assist in local clean-up efforts in the Schoharie Valley, Catskill and North Country Regions. This will entail a few hours on Sunday or Monday in the affected regions working to help those in flood-stricken areas to clear their homes of the mud and debris Irene left behind.”

“To volunteer for this effort, click the “volunteer” button below. You will receive further specific instructions regarding times, locations and how to prepare. Note that these communities remain isolated and in distress, with difficult conditions on the ground. The National Guard and State Office of Emergency Management will provide supervision and safe transport to the sites. To ensure an orderly effort, the numbers of volunteers will be controlled.”

Scoharie
Scoharie County flooding

If you cannot volunteer time to help with clean-up efforts than you can also help through donations. To make donations, click on the “contribute” button United Way of New York, http://www.uwnys.org/ will pass on your donation to a registered charity in an area hit hard by the storm. Every dime you donate will go directly to assisting storm victims.

According to the governor’s office the total customers without power (statewide): 43,128 (97% restored to date).

LIPA: 29,000 (94% restored to date)

Con Edison: 8

National Grid: 297 (99% restored to date)

NYSEG: 4,995 (98% restored to date)

Central Hudson: 8,451 (95% restored to date)

Orange & Rockland: 377 (99% restored to date)

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Russell W. Dickson, lives in upstate NY, and is a Freelance journalist. He has written for both print and online news/opinion pages.Russell holds a B.A. in English, minor Journalism from The University at Albany, Albany, NY. His writing experience spans more than a decade and his work has graced the pages of newspapers, magazines, online news orgs, and political websites in both the U.S. and abroad.