Irene may have ripped through the Capital Region almost a year ago, but the damage she left in her wake is still easy to see in some communities.
On Friday night, more than 150 people attended a picturesque fundraiser designed specifically to raise cash for flood victims.
It turns out, in Schoharie County free help is easy to come by, but free building materials are not.
That's why most of the cash brought in from a $100 dollar per plate dinner at organic herb and spice farm, will be used to buy sheet rock, two by fours and nails for volunteers to hammer in.
The guests at the benefit listened to jazz, sipped wine, and enjoyed a gorgeous, sprawling view of Schoharie Valley, all in the name of raising money to help fix what Irene destroyed.
It was almost exactly one year ago when Irene's high waters tore through, ruining just about everything it touched.
But now, 11 months and one week later, the rebuilding still continues.
Ginny Kintz of Schoharie says she felt compelled to attend the even just to help her neighbors who were not as fortunate as her.
"Having been here from the day the flood started, I've seen how so many people lost everything. And I was one of the lucky few that is on high ground, so I've had people that lost their home staying with me for days and weeks, and I've had rescue horses saying on my farm for almost a year," she said.
Kintz continued, "These are people that really lost everything. And so, to have people come from all over to help, and to help a year later is really even more important because there's going to be a lot of recovery going on here for another six or seven years."
Wellington's Herbs & Spices farm donated the picture perfect location so the group 'Schoharie Recovery' could bring in some much needed cash to help residents rebuild.
Farm owner and organic grower Carolyn Wellington said, "There was like 280 plus homes that were destroyed in the floods, and there is still a lot of work to be done so that is one of the reasons that we're needing more people."
John Poorman is the Chairman of the non-profit benefiting from the dinner called "Schoharie Recovery."
"We took on the mission, in the beginning, to try to help everywhere in the community. But typically recovery groups may adopt a handful of homes, and try to work on them one at a time, but our group has been in 200-300 different properties," Poorman said.
Assemblyman Peter Lopez represents the 127th district out of Schoharie.
He says the results of Schoharie Recovery's work are starting to show, but more still needs to be done.
Lopez said, "We're still working on stream stabilization, we're still working on getting businesses open, we're working on farm recovery, people are still homeless so the need is very much there."
Lopez continued, "And I can tell you it's emotional, because those situations or families or businesses that have been affected are relatively isolated, they haven't really been in communication, they're suffering out of sight. So our challenge is to engage. Every one is a different scenario, so it's really a case by case issue."
Lopez says the work volunteer groups like Schoharie Recovery are doing is imperative to getting the region back on track, because the state alone can't take on the entire burden.
He said, "Much of the repair work is prohibitively expensive, and very time consuming, but we're gaining, and people are feeling better, the results of everyone's hard work, like this group are starting to show, especially on the housing piece."
Lopez says his office shares the same goal as Schoharie Recovery.
"Really, what we're doing is trying to connect people and resources," he said.
But these organizers say keeping a steady stream of volunteers coming in to help in the effort is as important as raising cash.
Wellington said, "Volunteers, as you know, don't last forever, and we wanted to continue the process of rebuilding Schoharie, and that's one of the reasons for the fundraiser tonight too."
Kintz said, "People get tired of hearing about something that happened a while ago. But this was a rare flood, it was a perfect storm that just destroyed our gorgeous valley, so we all have to pitch in to rebuild it."
Poorman said, "And to me, one of the most remarkable aspects of that, is that asking the homeowners how much of the work in their house has been done by volunteers, on average, it's 36 percent. Thirty-six-percent of all the recovery work in the community has been done through the volunteers."
And with between 80 and 90 homes in the Village of Schoharie still sitting flood damaged and vacant, Poorman says his goal is to keep up that momentum, seeing to it that every resident has the chance to live there again.
To find out how to volunteer, or to donate to the cause click here.