United Way Gives Final Irene & Lee Donations

By Kelly McCarthy

December 12, 2012 Updated Dec 13, 2012 at 1:57 PM EDT

Delhi, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The United Way of Otsego and Delaware counties dolled out the final donations raised for Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee recovery efforts.

It's more than a year later and more than $100,000 raised between the two counties.

16 departments were handed a check anywhere from $1,000 to $12,000.

The money will towards any long term recovery projects still in progress since Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee hit in 2011.

Out of the $112,000 raised by the United Way of Delaware and Otsego counties in total, about $45,000 was handed out during the final presentation.

"If a donor says to us they want that money used specifically in let's say Margaretville, we would make sure that Margaretville got that money," said Terry Capuano, Executive Director of the United Way of Delaware and Otsego counties.

Town of Middletown Supervisor says floods are by far the most common disaster in their community and they are always looking for ways to prepare for the next.

Middletown received around $12,000 in total from the United Way and says pet kennels were an unexpected need in their town.

Because of the donations they will now keep kennels in every emergency site so residents will be more willing to evacuate.

"One of the things we found that happened after Irene was that people would not leave their homes if they couldn't' bring their animals with them, and then therefore couldn't leave their homes," said Marjorie Miller, Town of Middletown Supervisor.

One of the long term projects in Delaware County is restoring and donating to food pantries, some of them were lost in the storm because they were below the flood line.

"That was our interest in really looking at food pantries and how to build them to be stronger and receive more money so that they could be a little more self supportive in an effect of any emergency-type thing," said Capuano.

"Because if the food pantry is gets flooded out what good does that do during disaster when people suddenly have nothing to eat and our grocery store was gone for nine months," said Miller.

Other concerns were life jackets and up-to-date equipment for fire departments.

Eight local fire departments were at the presentation and received a check donation.

The United Way was able to remove all administrative fees of the donations so 100 percent of the money went directly to the department in need.