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Congressman Tours Campground Damaged by Irene

By Pat Bradley


Keeseville, NY – The Ausable River Campsite in Keeseville is among the businesses across the region damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. Owner Robert Stoeckert had about two-and-a-half hours warning that the river was rising and worked frantically to move rental campers to higher ground. This morning, he showed Congressmen Bill Owens destroyed buildings, campers washed into trees and stacked on top of each other, and destruction across his 130 acre campground.

Stoeckert has flood insurance and representatives have surveyed the damage, but haven't gotten back to him regarding coverage. After spring flooding, his flood insurance paid 5-thousand dollars to replace equipment, while he spent 40-thousand dollars on repairs. The damage from Irene is far more extensive and he estimates well over 100-thousand dollars in losses. Stoeckert says he's out-of-business without help from the government.

The campground's neighbor, Pray's Family Farm owner Darcy Pray stopped by to speak with Congressman Owens. He lost his vegetable crop valued between 120-and 150 thousand dollars and is confused and frustrated in his quest for information.

Congressman Owens anticipates disaster designations will be issued by the USDA and the SBA.