Volunteers in Schoharie celebrate their recovery celebration from Tropical Storm Irene. They kicked off the festivities with a music show and local artisan market. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has the latest on the village's recovery.
SCHOHARIE, N.Y. -- Over the sound of music and heartfelt speeches, the village of Schoharie came together on Saturday to celebrate their two year recovery from Tropical Storm Irene.
Schoharie resident Raymond Ward remembers the storm quite well.
"Tragedy, everyone lost every single thing that they could even imagine through here. It's amazing to know that there was water from this mountain to that mountain over here. I mean, the smell was amazing," he recalled.
Hundreds of homes were flooded, but residents did not lose hope.
"It's actually amazing how the community came about and came in to help everybody," said Ward.
Volunteers were behind most of the recovery efforts in the village. Schoharie Recovery Inc. and Schoharie Area Long Term have been working together to rebuild homes. They surveyed more than 1,000 houses.
"To date, about 63 percent of houses are completely restored with SALT and Schoharie Recovery directly helping to move in about 300 of those families," said Josh DeBartolo, director of Schoharie Recovery Inc.
"So, we really have made huge progress. Much faster than what was anticipated in the beginning," said Sarah Goodrich, executive director of SALT.
A lot of work still needs to be done.
"We've reached the easy point of recovery, and now we're into the hard, hard work. So, most of the cases that are remaining are complex in various ways," said Goodrich.
But, as this recovery celebration shows, Schoharie residents are confident they will persevere once more.
"It's better. A lot of people have gotten to know each other. The next step is to have businesses out here and have people out and working," said Ward.