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Crews work to restore power after historic flooding

By WKTV News

HERKIMER (WKTV) – Residents in one of the hardest hit areas of Herkimer are trying to recover from major flooding, but are getting set back by more rain.

“It flooded again. Now I have four feet in the cellar again and most of the stuff I had piled in the driveway, 80 percent of it washed down the creek last night,” said Russel Scherer, a homeowner.

Scherer suffered up to $80,000 dollars worth the damage and like many, is still disconnected.

“We can connect any customer who's ready to take the service. The problem is that many of our customers have incurred significant damage on their side of the meter so right now in round numbers we have about 1,700 gas customers who had damage to their gas equipment and about 700 electric customers who need to have their electric equipment inspected,” said Ken Daly, President of National Grid New York.

With hundreds of residents still without power, National Grid has set up a mobile emergency operations center. It’s been used for disasters like Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. Now, it’s parked in Herkimer.

National Grid has 100 boots on the ground and says they’re ready to roll up their sleeves.

“What we're doing is sending out electric inspectors to work with the customers. We'll pay for the inspection which we normally would not do but we understand how challenging these times are and the goal is to really allow the customers to get their equipment up and running as quickly as possible,” said Daly.

State Assemblyman Marc Butler is urging home owners to use the resources out there.

“When it comes to gas, utilities and electricity, you need to be very careful when you reenergize, so get the help and be sure you know what you're doing when you get cleaned up,” said Butler.

He also says recovery is going to take a while.

“I think people have to be patient. It's been many, many years since we've seen flooding of this magnitude,” he said.

“I figure this is going to be months and months and months before everything’s back to normal,” said Scherer.

The National Grid says they’ll be here as long as they’re needed. But there’s a lot of work that needs to be done and because they’re working on a customer by customer basis, it’s a process that could take several months.

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