Area Organizations Work To Recover After Flooding

Area organizations are providing assistance after Wednesday’s flooding.

According to Tina Jones, emergency services manager for the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York, staff and volunteers opened shelters at Falconer Central School at 8 a.m. and Frewsburg Central School at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

“Thankfully, niether shelter was occupied,” Jones said. “The urgency of the first calls and alerts were unusual – this had the potential to be a record-breaking storm.”

Jones said both shelters were closed by 1 p.m. once the floodwaters began to recede.

“Many, many thanks to the staff at both schools,” Jones said, adding that she was proud of the community’s efforts during the flooding.

According to Jones, the Red Cross is currently assessing the damage of area homes and streets.

The Red Cross will be partnering with the Salvation Army to distribute cleanup kits to affected residents. Kits will be distributed today at the Salvation Army, located at 83 W. Main St. in Jamestown.

The free-of-charge cleanup kits will include basic supplies, including a bucket, mop, broom and other supplies.

Jones said the Red Cross distributed nearly 70 kits in the Gowanda area over the last week.

Residents in Chautauqua County and the surrounding areas in need of assistance can call the Red Cross at 664-5115.

Wednesday’s storm resulted in tons of debris, including whole trees, parts of trees and shrubs, which entered Chautauqua Lake from its tributaries.

The Chautauqua Lake Executive Committee met Wednesday and authorized an emergency deployment of two crews to collect the debris.

Two harvesters, two transports and two barges were launched Thursday to collect debris.

According to a press release, it could take up to a week for crews to collect the debris.

According to Doug Conroe, Chautauqua Lake Association president, the crews are doing their best to collect as much debris as possible and lake users need to take special care this week and during Memorial Day weekend.

The cleanup effort is above and beyond the 2014 lake maintenance service budget. The CLA will be seeking donations to cover this additional expense in order to avoid having to accordingly reduce its regular whole summer service program.

For more information on the CLA and to stay up-to-date on Chautauqua Lake maintenance, visit www.chautauqualakeassociation.org or www.facebook.com/chautauqualakeassociation.

Since the early morning hours on Wednesday, emergency service personnel from all over Western New York have been assisting county and community leaders to help with the cleanup efforts in the recently flooded communities.

“The volunteer fire departments, emergency personnel, and numerous volunteers have been working tirelessly on behalf of the county residents affected by the recent storm,” said County Executive Vince Horrigan. “The cleanup efforts have gone well and as of this moment most, if not all, previously closed roads are open.”

Contact information for area organizations:

If you have been displaced by the flooding event or need flood clean up kits, contact the Red Cross at 664-5115.

For more information on flood cleanup, recovery and preparedness, visit www.redcross.org/ny/jamestown.

To contact the Salvation Army for flood kits, contact 664-4108.

For senior assistance, contact NY Connects at 753-4582, 363-4582 or 661-7582.

For the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services, call 753-4481 for water or sanitation issues. After business hours, call 753-4232.The following site contains a variety of information regarding flooding and health related issues: www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/flood/.

The Small Business Development Center will take information and provide assistance to small business owners that received flood damage. Call for an appointment at 338-1024.

If your gas has been turned off, you must call National Fuel to have it turned on at 1-800-365-3234.

The New York State Office of Emergency Management is providing information about what to do after a flood at www.dhses.ny.gov.

For any further questions, contact the Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services at 754-4341, from 8:30-4 p.m. on weekdays. For after hours and weekend calls, a contact number will be provided after calling 754-4341.