It has been an exceptionally rainy summer up in this corner of the country: The second wettest August made way for flooding caused by Hurricane Irene to finish up the month. The first week of September followed up strongly, flooding some additional locations in the Northeast, including my hometown, Binghamton, N.Y.
This was the parking lot of the Oakdale Mall, along the Susquehanna River. There used to be a Wegmans across the street, but I’m not sure if it is still there.
The Chenango also breached its banks and flooded some places closest to my old high school.
This was McGirks, the local pub. I used to go there for trivia night and sometimes to hear local bands. Behind the building was a golf course, the Chenango Commons. Even Route 12, a secondary highway that runs through central New York was flooded.
This photo was from Sept. 8, and clean up is still largely at the beginning phases for a lot of people.
Many families are still displaced, living in gymnasiums. The families who have been able to go back have a lot work to do.
New York State Governor Cuomo announced Tuesday that FEMA assistance is available to homeowners and small business owners in five of the affected counties but funding for the rest of the clean up is largely unknown. Substantial business, first from Endicott Johnson shoe factories then later IBM and Lockheed Martin, developed the area but now Binghamton University is the main draw.
A childhood friend has given up her day job as a lawyer for the time being to help with the relief efforts and has set up a Facebook page, Help Owego/Apalachin Rebuild.
Various organizations like Tioga Opportunities, Rebuild Owego, and the United Way are taking donations for relief, as is the local Red Cross, Southern Tier Chapter. For now, the clean up is a slow process, with limited resources and materials, but the community is working diligently to rebuild what it once was.
We wish you all the best.