Released 20 September 2011
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Disaster Press Release
September 17, 2011
For Immediate Release
From: The Salvation Army, 127 Washington St., Binghamton,
The Salvation Army is now entering its third week of
disaster response in central New York, where teams of staff and volunteers have
shifted from the Schenectady and Oneonta areas , hit by the remnants of
Hurricane Irene, to the southern tier of the state, serving communities nestled
alongside the Susquehanna River whose waters inundated thousands of homes
during Tropical Storm Lee.
The Salvation Army’s response has varied from community to
community based upon need and resources, with much of the work coordinated by
volunteer Service Units already in place in small towns across the state of New
York. In Nichols, NY, volunteers
served meals from the firehouse, while Barton volunteers distributed needed
items and vouchers from a tiny, flood-damaged community center. Canteens traveled the streets of Binghamton,
Conklin, Johnson City, and Vestal, and a full-fledged relief center is
operating in Owego in cooperation with Tioga Opportunities inc., made possible
by advance planning in a community that has now seen its entire downtown
and ¾ of its housing stock damaged
by the floods.
In Sidney, retired Salvation Army leaders Lt. Colonels Gene
and Edie Pigford have directed the distribution of supplies to the hard-hit communities
of Afton, Nineveh and Bainbridge, as well as to Sidney itself. After ten days under Salvation Army direction, the service
center opened in Prattsburg is now being staffed by the local community, as
businesses re-open and residents begin to plan for the future.
In the response to Irene and Lee, the Salvation Army has
deployed 1/3 of its officer personnel from the Empire State division (upstate
New York) to sites along the river banks, and has 11 canteens and 2 Springer
vans in service. More than 15,000 meals
have been served and 2800 cleanup kits distributed in the Southern Tier. Because many of the local water
systems were contaminated, more than 30,000 bottles of water have also been
Jerry Pierce, a long-time Salvation Army volunteer, was
handling logistics for the relief work in Schenectady when the river overflowed
its banks in his hometown. Jerry
quickly returned to Owego when Lee hit to direct the Salvation Army work
there. Says Pierce, “We’re serving
people whose whole lives are piled on the curb. I feel blessed to be able to be there for my neighbors.”
Financial donations to the Salvation Army are needed to
support this continuing work.
Text “storm” to 80888 for a $10 donation
On the internet,www.salvationarmy.org
Checks can be mailed to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1959,
Atlanta, GA 30301.
Due to the logistical problems in these areas, material
donations are not being requested at this time.
For further information, call the
Submitted by The Salvation Army
Leslie Vattimo, Emergency Services Director