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Massena work crews help Waddington after damaging storm

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WADDINGTON — Public works crews from Massena have extended a hand to help clean up debris after Monday’s severe thunderstorm uprooted and downed trees all over Waddington.

Crews from National Grid, volunteers from the Waddington Volunteer Fire Department and village public works crews already have cleared most of the damage in the streets, but there is still more work to be done.

After seeing photos of the destruction in the newspaper, Massena Mayor James F. Hidy called Public Works Superintendent Hassan A. Fayad to see how their village could help.

“Waddington was definitely hit the hardest,” Mr. Hidy said. “And because they had a storm of this magnitude and are getting ready for their upcoming bass tournament, we extended an offer to help them clean up the debris that Mother Nature left behind.”

The village of Waddington is asking residents to put tree limbs and brush outside their homes at the curb for pickup.

Over the next two weeks, public works crews will be moving through the village gathering up debris. Massena will lend the use of its wood chipper and personnel to help in the removal process.

Mr. Fayad said helping Waddington will not disrupt Massena’s work schedule.

“We can forgo some of the work we’re doing to assist another community,” he said. “It’s one of the things we like doing: helping other communities when they’re in need.”

Massena’s offer to assist in the cleanup could not have come at a better time. In less than six weeks, Waddington will be hosting the Bassmaster Elite Tournament.

“It’s the biggest event in the north country’s history,” Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said. “Massena’s offer to help certainly takes a lot of pressure off of us.”

Village work crews are cramming in last-minute road repairs, tunneling for water pipes and electrical wires for the tournament’s main stage and pruning and trimming grass in Whittaker Park, where the event will be held, so everything will be done in time for the main event.

The event is expected to draw close to 10,000 people to the area.

“Also, we have had five new homes in the village, which will all need sewer and water lines installed,” Ms. Otto-Cassada said.

She said she can’t say enough about the village of Massena’s show of kindness.

“We hope that we never have to reciprocate, but we will definitely return the favor if given the opportunity in the future,” she said.

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