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Volunteers team up for flood recovery effort

September 1, 2013
By CASEY CROUCHER , The Leader Herald

FORT PLAIN - Approximately 80 volunteers showed up Saturday to help work on nine flood-recovery projects in the village.

The "rebuilding day" organized by the Fulton-Montgomery Long-Term Recovery Committee focused on muck-outs, demolition, mold remediation, sheet rocking and plumbing in the Fort Plain area.

Matt Ossenfort, co-chairman of FMLTR and a candidate for the new Montgomery County executive position, said there was a positive vibe among the volunteers Saturday.

Article Photos

In this July 31 file photo, free clothing and other items for flood victims are displayed in front of a building in Fort Plain, along with a message to the federal government. All summer, property owners in village have been fighting to recover from the flooding of late June. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Ackerbauer)

"Today went great," he said. "There was a very positive atmosphere, a lot of familiar faces, and we got a lot of work done."

Volunteers were able to do work on nine houses and complete work on seven of them.

Ossenfort said some projects could take weeks or months to complete. He said the FMLTR is waiting on 50 cases of damages from the late-June flooding that are being processed by the Unmet Needs Committee, which is helping homeowners apply for grants and other aid.

Michael Raphael, response manager for the American Red Cross, who's involved with the recovery committee, said this is just the beginning stage of rebuilding for Fort Plain.

"Dozens more need rebuilding; this is just the beginning," Raphael said. "This sort of rebuilding could take years, but it's always important to get the whole community involved."

Ossenfort said there will be another rebuilding day in Fort Plain in approximately a month.

"We're getting past the emergency phase and getting into the rebuilding phase," he said. "Today was a great start to this whole project."

Casey Croucher can be reached by email at



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