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Herkimer clean up crews affected by ongoing storms

By ALLISON NORLIAN

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Herkimer firefighters have been working non-stop alongside 26 volunteer departments from all over the state to clean up the aftermath caused by severe storms and flooding.

However, they say it seems that the town can't seem to catch a break. While in the process of cleaning up from last Thursday's storm, the downpours have continued.

Herkimer Fire Chief Alan Richard said he is exhausted.

"I mean, I wanted to throw in the towel," Chief Richard said. "We thought we had everything handled, in good shape, and then what we got last night, again, was overwhelming. To see everything we did in three days totally ruined, destroyed, back to square one."

Firefighters, local officials and neighbors who were just happy to help said that they will continue to do what they have to until the areas affected are normal again.

Chief Richard said his team will continue helping those suffering.

"If it rains again, you just feel like giving up but you have to keep plugging along," he said.

Fire fighters aren't the only ones working hard. Teams from out-of-state came to help with the relief, including SERVPRO, a residential and commercial restoration business out of Plymouth Massachusetts. Owner Kenneth Matejek said they are booked for business until July 21.

"We're cleaning all the basements out, getting all the debris out because it's black water," Matejek said. "It's full of bacteria and all has to come out, be power washed clean, disinfected and dried so it's safe."

Those without help from professionals are cleaning out their basements themselves. Herkimer resident Jeffrey Miller said he feels like he can't escape the mud.

"It's been a tremendous financial strain, physical strain," Miller said. "I haven't been to work in days. It seems like there is no end. There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but I am sure, finally, we're getting some help. So hopefully it'll be over soon enough."


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