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Athens gets FEMA money for infrastructure

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Athens gets FEMA money for infrastructure
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The Athens borough still has a lot of work to do to rebuild from the September floods. But the borough is only now starting to receive FEMA aid. Our Lara Greenberg tells us what Athens plans to do with the money.

ATHENS, Pa. -- Vacated homes, damaged levees. It may be seven months since the September flood, but Athens borough still has a lot to clean up.

"We had some sinkholes in the flooded areas, stuff like that. Those roads needed to be repaved and repaired. The pump station on Maple Street, they have to have some repairs done to that," said Athens Emergency Management Coordinator Scott Riley.

FEMA and PEMA gave the borough about $140,000 of the $720,000 it requested for repairs.

"The damage under the Municipal Building and this crack alone will cost more than $500,000 to repair. It was the only part of the plan that was denied by FEMA. The borough is now appealing it."

The borough also wants to build up protective measures along the Susquehanna and Chemung Rivers.

"You can see from there to here, it was like 100 feet. It was just gone," said Athens DPW worker Jeremiah Robert.

Robert saw the Chemung levee's damage firsthand. The levee had a huge crater in it until the borough covered it with rocks and dirt. But it still needs works.

"Still needs to be sloped down and seeded to get it back to the original shape," said Robert.

Officials hope to have the infrastructure work done by the end of the summer.

They're looking to the homeowners that have built back for inspiration.

"They're putting their houses back together and building new construction and it's a very rewarding thing to be able to put this on TV and show how the borough is coming back," said Athens Mayor George Whyte.

Back from a place they never want to revisit.

Borough officials are still reviewing information given to them by FEMA. They plan to hold another meeting later this month or in early May to move the recovery plans forward.

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