The results of Sunday's flood are still being felt here in Gowanda as residents struggle to recover from a near disaster, many are without gas to cook with or hot water heaters and all are wondering just how long it's going to take to clean up the mess that mother nature left behind. As seen in the picture above, this mighty flood even managed to up-heave a section of road, sending debris nearly half a mile down the street. One business is a total loss, one other may be forced to close as a result of the damage. As of this writing, five homes in the area of Chapel and Walnut streets had been condemned due to structural damage and South Chapel street itself was little more than a giant ball of mud. Even the historic Hollywood Theater lost a door in the rush of unstoppable waters.
The question that rests heavy on most resident's minds (including myself) is who is going to help us? In a town with several elderly and disabled persons, the daunting task of scooping and cleaning out out inches of thick, toxic mud, seeping water, removing damaged property and trying to find the funds to replace hot water heaters and furnaces seems impossible. With many having lost their cars or other means of transport, entire neighborhoods are trapped and unable to get to medical facilities, family members or grocery stores. Gowanda Jubilee, the Olympia and Capozzi's pizza have remained open so that residents can get a decent meal but due to lack of communication, this is not widely known.
If you live near our little village in the valley, consider helping whether it's by helping to shovel the muck, offering to drive residents to get supplies or to Lake Shore for medical care or just lending an extra hand. The town is trying to keep a positive attitude despite all that's happened and I want to thank everyone who has gone out of their way to come together in this time of need.