WNY Groups Help in Irene Recovery

August 29, 2011 Updated Aug 29, 2011 at 11:19 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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August 29, 2011 Updated Aug 29, 2011 at 11:19 PM EDT

Buffalo (WKBW) - With the massive amounts of damage to parts of New York State from flooding caused by tropical storm Irene, Western New Yorkers and volunteer groups are stepping up to do their part to assist in the recovery process.

The flash floods resulting from tropical storm Irene left washed out roads and bridges, thousands of people without a place to stay, and some entire towns underwater. Western New Yorkers are now stepping up to help those in need.

Monday afternoon the Buffalo Salvation Army packed up its mobile response unit with food, water, and clothing and headed east to flooded areas.

"The Salvation Army is about helping people reclaim their lives. And about helping people help them reclaim their lives. And this is basically what we do," Major Thomas Applin said Monday.

A group of volunteers from the Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross left Buffalo yesterday, also headed to help in disaster relief.

"It's a humanitarian mission to help those in need. That's what our Emergency Services Departments do nationwide, is help others with important and pressing needs," Jay Bonafede of the American Red Cross said.

And a large crew of National Grid workers went to Albany and beyond to assist in getting power back to the nearly million people still without electricity.

"Yesterday was emergency work primarily. But today we have a full restoration crew out and about. We've got quite the army working for us here," National Grid spokesman Steve Brady said.

Despite the destruction and threat of continued flooding, volunteers are still ready and willing to do anything to help others.

Those groups are not alone in helping those affected by Irene. Members of the Buffalo Fire Department and other organizations are also helping in the recovery efforts.

For more information on how to help, head to www.redcross.org or www.salvationarmy.com.