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Picking Up the Pieces After the Floods
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Tara Lynch
 
April 22, 2007

On this beautiful, sunny Sunday 20 miles north of Manhattan, it looks like a typical spring day in Hartsdale – families riding bicycles, kids playing catch and joggers shuffling to the rhythm of their iPods. But as you take a look around, it's not business as usual. The devastating Nor'easter that swept through the Northeast part of the country last week left multiple towns without power, hundreds of businesses closed and thousands of families picking up the pieces of their lives washed away by floods.

For this restaurant in Hartsdale, NY, a generator helps power the clean-up efforts inside while the kitchen equipment dries out in the afternoon sun.  Photo credit: Tara Lynch
For this restaurant in Hartsdale, NY, a generator helps power the clean-up efforts inside while the kitchen equipment dries out in the afternoon sun.
Photo credit: Tara Lynch

Saturday afternoon, this Mamaroneck, NY house was evacuated by the local Fire Department after residents inside felt the entire structure shift heavily to one side.
Saturday afternoon, this Mamaroneck, NY house was evacuated by the local Fire Department after residents inside felt the entire structure shift heavily to one side.
Photo credit: Tara Lynch

This local Mamaroneck business proves the resiliency and spirit of the community.  Photo credit: Tara Lynch
This local Mamaroneck business proves the resiliency and spirit of the community.
Photo credit: Tara Lynch

American Red Cross teams of relief workers remain in the communities, working with local partners to provide meals, safety information and a shoulder to lean on for those able to return home. "Long after the attention dies down and other breaking news fills the minds of the public, we're here to help the thousands of people affected by this storm begin the recovery process," notes Robert Imbornoni, a Red Cross Response Officer assigned to the relief effort. "This upcoming week is critical for all New York residents across many counties, as individuals and families need to make sure they take care of their physical and mental health as well."

Seven days since heavy rains and winds made their way up the East coast, roads and parkways in Westchester County remain closed; young security guards watch over local businesses and banks attempting to air out their storefronts and, for one street in Mamaroneck, the lingering effects of flooding showed their strength when two buildings were evacuated yesterday due to significant foundation damage that shifted the brick homes. A Red Cross mobile feeding truck (ERV) travels into neighborhoods each day, and volunteers helping with the relief effort make sure residents take a break from their clean-up efforts for some water, food and emotional support. Yesterday, an ERV driver crouched down to offer a young boy in the village of Rye a snack from the truck. That boy's father, watching as his son puts the finishing touches on his lemonade stand, politely declines the offer but explains why. They're giving back to those who have helped, offering free lemonade to the first responders and clean-up crews who continue to help their neighborhood return to some sort of normalcy.

American Red Cross shelters remain open in various areas, and some working on the state-wide relief effort indicate a potential increase in feeding and sheltering needs as partner agencies finalize their damage assessments. "Our dedicated relief workers will continue to provide vital services across New York state to make sure these communities build back better," says Imbornoni. "It's been a true testament of neighbors helping neighbors here."

For safety information following a flood and updates on the Nor'easter relief effort, visit www.RedCross.org or contact your local chapter today.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.



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