With clean-up still continuing in the village of Gowanda, I was told today by the Fire Department that both FEMA and the Red Cross will be out investigating the area and setting up centers as early as tomorrow for residents to seek help at. Governor Patterson is due here for a tour of the area though I'm not certain when or if he will be speaking to residents.
Communication is still in a jumble as the Red Cross later told me they have already been set up at the Aldrich Street School for a few days. Residents are encouraged to seek aid there if needed for now and to call their home insurance and neighbors if they need help cleaning up. A ban on outside water use has been issued due to severe damage to the reservoir. Residents are still being asked to boil all tap water before using and can call 211 if they have questions about the water ban. In addition, I was informed that all garbage and trash should be put on the curbs and will be picked up at the earliest possible time.
The Fire Department also advised me to watch the news at 12, 5, 6 and 11 to keep up on the latest events. If you know anyone shut in, unable to access the internet or without a television - please be a good neighbor and help to keep them informed.
On a personal note - I have taken over 100 pictures of my beloved town in this disaster and spoken to several families and people, from those barely affected at all to those who lost nearly everything. It has been an amazing experience and my heart and prayers go out to all my neighbors. Stay strong. We will survive.