A group of dedicated volunteers returned to the Southern Tier this weekend. As our Elyse Mickalonis tells us, students from SUNY Buffalo set out to help a homeowner rebuild from last year’s flooding.
APALACHIN, N.Y. -- The one-year anniversary of last year’s flooding has come and gone, but for many recovering is still an every-day job.
"The true damage isn't just the flood, but it's everything that happens afterwards -- the rot…people being displaced from their houses, it's an echo effect after the flood,” said Andre Primus, SUNY Buffalo Senior.
This weekend a volunteer group from Buffalo returned for a fourth time to help rebuild.
The group is mostly made up of students from the University of Buffalo’s campus ministry, but includes organizers and others. They arrived Friday night, worked throughout the day Saturday and Sunday before heading home.
"Winter is coming and he wants to get into his home soon, so we know every hour counts here,” said Tim Stewart, SUNY Buffalo Campus Minister.
This weekend’s mission was gutting the basement of a home Old Owego Road in Apalachin. A job that required team work.
"Hammers, pry bars, snow shovels, a few power tools, but a lot of it was long hard work, breaking things down, hauling it out of the basement and into the dumpster,” said Stewart.
Buffalo resident Donnell Amiker added, “It feels great to see our progress and how we're working as a team."
Organizers say there are still many people recovering from last year’s flooding and many more volunteers willing to help out.
"People are nicer than you think. There are a lot of times people expect everyone to be focused on themselves and their own problems,” said Primus. “But if you reach out, there may be people that didn't know there was still stuff to be done and they'd help."
Welcome help for many in the Southern Tier, as the road to recovery is something that will take longer than a year.
Volunteers say the home they worked on needs to be renovated completely and they were glad to get things started for the homeowner this weekend.