Flood costs $5M

Deluge hits hard at north end of county 

KINDERHOOK–Local, state and federal officials added up the damage estimates this week from last week’s record-breaking downpours that struck 10 municipalities around the county. The overall cost to roads and embankments, bridges and sewer systems is now set at $4.8 million, an amount that does not take into account damages to crops and local businesses.

   Initial reports from the National Weather Service in Albany said that rainfall amounts reached nearly five inches Wednesday, July 30, in some northern Columbia County communities. More rain fell on Friday, raising floodwaters again briefly.

   Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) toured the worst-hit communities early this week, accompanied by town highway superintendents and other officials. “The Town of new Lebanon is probably one of the hardest hit,” said Bill Black, the director of Columbia County Emergency Management.

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Health officials offer post-flood advice

HUDSON—Residents of areas flooded by torrential rains last week have been asking Columbia County Health Department officials questions about how to deal with floodwater and deposits.
   Concerns have been raised about playing in backyards, parks or playgrounds, gardening, eating homegrown vegetables because of possible contamination, both biological and chemical, says a county Health Department press release.

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AG charges former judge with grand larceny, misconduct

ALBANY—Former Stockport Town Justice James Funk faces criminal charges brought by State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo for allegedly taking $27,000 in fees and bail money from a court bank account for personal use.
   Mr. Funk, 47, of Stockport was charged with one count of third degree grand larceny, a class D felony; one count of first degree falsifying business records, a class E felony; and one count of official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor, August 4.
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Comprehensive planners extend survey deadline, meet with special interest groups

COPAKE—Because there are still groups of people in the town who have not filed a response to the Comprehensive Plan survey, the town Comprehensive Plan Committee has extended the deadline for completing the survey until Labor Day.
   “We have been pleased by the response to the survey, but as we have begun to tabulate the results we see that there are certain groups in the town from whom we have yet to hear,” Committee Chair Jeanne Mettler said in a press release.
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