A disaster recovery center has been opened in Moriah to help area residents deal with the affects of Tropical Storm Irene.
The Essex County Emergency Operations Center opened a center at the Moriah fire house, 630 Tarbell Hill Road, last Friday.
Storm-affected residents and small business owners may obtain information and services from county, state and federal agencies. The disaster recovery center will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
It’s the second disaster recovery center to open in the county. One opened in Jay immediately after the storm Aug. 28.
“This center will not only service Moriah residents and business, but also any towns within Essex County,” Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. “We had to work to get this center established here, otherwise people would have had to travel to Jay. In a county this size, it made sense to have two centers. With the condition of many of the main highways, it would have been very difficult for people in many townships to travel to Jay.”
Tropical Storm Irene blew through the county Aug. 28, dumping several inches of rain. The storm caused flooding, washed out roads and left thousands without electricity. Some homes and buildings were destroyed.
Also on hand at the disaster recovery center will be representatives from the Small Business Administration who can explain the low-interest loan packages available to individuals, non-profits and businesses of any size.
More information is available at the county website at www.co.essex.ny.usor by calling the Essex County Emergency Operations Center at 873-3932 or their local town hall.
Essex County is among 19 counties in New York State designated in a federal disaster declaration that pre-qualifies partial funding of restoration of local public infrastructure stemming from destruction caused by Tropical Storm Irene.
President Barack Obama signed the declaration that allows roadways, bridges, culverts, public buildings and other facilities to be repaired in Warren, Essex, Clinton, Albany, Delaware, Dutchess, Bronx, Rensselaer, Greene, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Schoharie, Suffolk, Ulster and Westchester counties.
The declaration also specifies that assistance will be available to individuals and enterprises with qualifying losses in Essex, Delaware, Dutchess, Albany, Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Ulster counties.
This individual assistance designation sets the stage for individuals and businesses suffering storm-related property destruction in those eight counties to receive grants up to $30,000 and low-interest loans to recover and rebuild.
The assistance for public infrastructure reimburses 75 percent of losses and the state normally contributes 12.5 percent of the remainder, leaving local municipalities to pay the remaining 12.5 percent, Warren County Emergency Services Coordinator Amy Drexel said.
Essex County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish urged owners of homes and businesses suffering damages to submit information as soon as possible on the damage and losses to their respective departments.
Doing so will expedite the process for obtaining public and private aid, Jaquish said.
Applications can be also be made to FEMA at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or 1-800-462-7585, but all applications should be routed through the counties to boost efforts to obtain eligibility for individual assistance, Drexel said.
Thom Randall contributed to this report.