It was one year ago that tropical storms Irene and Lee made their way across the Southern Tier, leaving behind historic flooding and devastation for many residents and businesses. Thursday, the American Red Cross hosted a remembrance event acknowledging the response efforts that have occurred in the community since that time. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us more about those flood relief efforts.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- The Southern Tier community has come together in various ways over the past year to help others recover from tropical storms Irene and Lee. It's those kinds of recovery efforts that elected leaders, local organizations and community members remembered at a one year anniversary event on Thursday.
"It takes a village. It really does. Not just Red Cross, not just local government, but the United Way, Salvation Army, the list goes on and on," said American Red Cross Southern Tier Chapter Executive Shelley Bierwiler.
The Red Cross helped provide shelter, meals and comfort for people affected by the floodwaters in the Southern Tier. Many human service organizations, such as the United Way, have rallied to funnel donations for flood relief into the community over the past year.
"It was really inspiring to me the see the response from this community. We've had $1 million in donations to help people and through BCCOAD, $600,000 have been allocated so far," said United Way of Broome County Executive Director Alan Hertel.
Elected officials have also helped disperse more than $50 million in flood relief money to the community since last September. An effort they continue to pursue.
"As of this day, about $50 million has been dispersed. There's still more is going to businesses individual towns. Right now, we're looking at up to $500,000 for mitigation for creeks and streams," said Senator Tom Libous.
But while the event acknowledged just how far the region has come in the course of one year, it was also reminder that there is still so much more work to be done.
"We have come so far and the volunteers in the community and state government have been amazing. At this year anniversary, it’s time for us to recharge and forge ahead with the support of the community we can come out the other side in a real good light," said Bierwiler.
As the Southern Tier continues down the path to recovery one year later.