Water levels in the Ausable River rose 20 feet following the Aug. 28 storm. The basement of the home we were working in was flooded to the top of the 7-foot-high basement ceiling and a couple of feet high within the living space (immediately above the basement) of the ranch-style home. We had a chance to take a look at the tame and pleasant-looking river nearby — less than a week before the river was a raging and destructive torrent. The damage to this family’s home and the upsetting of the family members’ lives was evident. We had a chance to speak with parents and kids, and their strength of purpose and resolve was amazing.
At the end of the day, we were wet, muddy, and beat, but we had managed to help people who truly appreciated what we had done. The good feeling one gets from volunteering time and energy was present in all who came out for this “Labor for Your Neighbor” effort.
At the same, we know that the recovery is far from over and encourage all to call 211 (the United Way statewide telephone number that will link you to volunteer cleanup opportunities around New York State).
Mike Corey participated in the Labor for Your Neighbor event. He is a contributing writer for Denton Publications.