The flood of 1972 may have washed away homes and businesses in the Southern Tier, but for the City of Corning, the memories still come in waves. Our Lara Greenberg has more on what the city is doing to remember the flood on its 40 anniversary.
CORNING, N.Y. -- Forty years ago, Donna Robbins was a waitress at the restaurant she now owns. And back then, Corning was an entirely different city. It was under water.
"Houses it was up to the roofs and the building here, the cellar was completely full and there was three feet of water upstairs," said Donna Robbins of Corning.
The flood of 1972 engulfed Corning, leaving little behind but mud and devastation. Forty years later, the Crystal City sparkles once again. But memories are still tarnished.
"Really devastating. You know, it was like how are we going to clean this up?" said Robbins.
Now the Corning Museum of Glass is remembering the flood with a new exhibit at its Rakow Library. The exhibit shows what the CMOG did to conserve its glass and archives.
"We had mud damage, water damage, obviously. Books needed to be sent out to a book restorer in New York City. She repaired 100 of our most rare and most invaluable books," said CMOG cataloging specialist Tracy Savard.
And the Gaffer District is also paying tribute, tying ribbons to trees to remember how high the flood waters came downtown.
"This place was all a mess. It was disgusting the way it looked to me."
Those who remember the flood of '72 say these ribbons aren't only a reminder of the devastation but of the way people supported each other during that time of need.
"It just brings back the memories of everybody supporting each other. Everybody helped everybody," said Robbins.
Something that Robbins hopes would happen again should another disaster sweep through the city.
The exhibit at the Glass Museum's library will be open through January 2014.