Community concerned over potential flooding in Yates County

Updated: 07/03/2014 5:23 PM
Created: 07/03/2014 11:13 AM WHEC.com
By: Brett Davidsen

The National Weather Service in Binghamton has issued a flash flood watch for several New York counties including Yates County.

This comes almost two months after devastating floods ripped through Penn Yan, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to many homes and businesses.

The watch is in effect from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.

There are still obvious signs of the damage left behind from the May flooding in Penn Yan. It has been a slow, difficult process this past two months for both homeowners and businesses as they continue to try to get back on their feet. To hear there is a flash flood watch in effect Thursday, obviously, has people on pins and needles.

You would never know it today by walking into the Penn Yan Diner, but owner Carrie Ahearn says the flood waters nearly took her business.

Carrie Ahearn, Penn Yan Diner, said, “We had nine feet of water in our basement and we lost everything, not structurally, but boiler, walk in freezer, inventory, bathroom, electrical service. All of that had to be replaced."

News10NBC was at the diner the day after the waters raged through the village, as they surveyed the damage and tried to figure out how to pick up the pieces. Ahearn’s business was among several that were hit the hardest by the May flooding.

Nearly two months later, businesses are still trying to dry out and recover. Just last weekend, residents got another reminder of how devastating the flooding was, as the remaining part of the damaged Owl’s Nest Conference Center tumbled down. There is also evidence that some homes are still unsafe to return to. To hear a flood watch is in effect, only adds to the anxiety.

Ahearn said, "It's an automatic eye roll and here we go again. We watched the first one, so we can't control it, so you just kind of let it go."

Ahearn got some help from state disaster aid, economic development loans and the generosity of caring friends and family. She says she’s learned a lot about this community as it rallied to help those who had lost everything.

Ahearn said, "Whether they were customers or people coming down to help, just random people have helped. It's amazing what a community will do.”

The Penn Yan community is planning a flood aid concert in Penn Yan on July 13 to benefit the Arc of Yates County, which suffered devastating damage.

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