Four days after the massive storms which flooded the Gowanda and Silvercreek areas, relief seems imminent. The National Guard arrived last evening and today are in full swing doing their best to clean the muck from streets and take away piles of rotting garbage. Said one member - "We're glad to be here to help."
Also on the way is Bonaresponds - a volunteer group heading to Gowanda on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to help residents in need clean out basements and homes. You can find more information at their blog - http://ow.ly/jWsq - or follow BonaResponds on Twitter. Volunteers are needed so if you would like to help, please find the sign up sheet on their blog and offer your assistance. We would greatly appreciate it.
Having talked to the director of the Salvation Army effort located at the Firehall, I was informed donations of clean water and non-perishable food items are needed. If you'd like to donate, just contact the Gowanda Fire Department. Also helping out residents are the staff of Tri County Hospital's ER who have set up at the Aldrich Street School. The hospital remains closed but crews are working to clean up the damage. Rumors of the hospital being torn down appear to be nothing more than idle gossip at this point despite massive damage to the basement and lab.
Between 30 and 80 houses between Gowanda and Silvercreek are rumored to be condemned. Having visited some of them in the Gowanda area, the reasoning is obvious. Entire basement walls are missing from most leaving the insides completely gutted and open to view. The destruction is both awe-inspiring and absolutely terrifying to see. News crews were on the scene today recording footage so be sure to tune in.
On a personal note - the morale in my neighborhood has been amazing. From the "Gowanda Survival" buffalo down the street to residents offering a helping hand, Gowanda truly has pulled together in this time of crisis.