Red Cross helping flood victims

Updated: 05/16/2014 11:26 PM
Created: 05/16/2014 7:04 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

It really is a devastating situation in Penn Yan. Roads filled up with water, creeks overflowing, homes and businesses underwater. Some damaged beyond repair. Emergency crews were out in full force. Now the focus turns to recovery and helping those who have lost everything.

The Red Cross is set up to house 100 people, but so far workers say they haven't seen that kind of need. About 30 people have signed in for services, mostly for a hot meal, but only about 5 people stayed at the shelter Thursday night.

Franklin Goble says, "If they weren't here to help us, I would say pretty much I would say we would just be out of on the street trying to find some place to go."

Goble shudders to think about what he would have done if the Red Cross wasn't here. He says officials have determined his apartment building is dangerous.

Goble says, "It's like somebody just pulled the rug out from underneath us and said too bad for you. And nobody wants to help us but the Red Cross."

Here people, like Goble, can find three hot meals, a shower and a place to sleep while they figure out what's next. More importantly, they don't have to go it alone.

Jay Bonafede, of the Red Cross, says, "Our goal, whether it's a single family house fire or a larger scale disaster like this one has become, we like to say our goal is to get people to as close to a pre-disaster state as possible. The Red Cross doesn't necessarily get in and rebuild a house, but we may be able to refer you to someone who does."

The Red Cross is helping in this time of need, including a shelter set up at Penn Yan Academy. But workers and volunteers have also taken their services to the community. 

Using the mobile crisis unit, they canvassed the hardest hit areas in Penn Yan looking for people cleaning up. They drove up and down streets offering water and clean up kits. 

A mother of three and her husband have been staying with her parents who lost power. The water heater is out.  She says she’s thankful for any help from the Red Cross. 

Kim feels the same way. Her home has been without power for three days. She says her family plans to rough it, but the water and clean up supplies are helping tremendously.

Kim Elkins, Penn Yan resident, said, “Right now, we need water. We have no electricity. There is water in the basement.”

Jessica Parish, Penn Yan resident, said, “It's really helpful. This morning, this road was so flooded that we couldn't get out to get anything. Thank God one of the people from the Living Will came by to give me diapers. My son didn't have any diapers left.”

News10NBC will continue to monitor the recovery efforts in Penn Yan. The shelter is scheduled to remain open around the clock until Sunday evening or longer if people need it.

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