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Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Relief groups providing assistance to flood victims need ongoing support

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While this spring has been eagerly anticipated after a harsh winter, the warmer weather showed last week that it has its own perils.

Flooding throughout Lewis and St. Lawrence counties forced residential evacuations and the closure of roads and bridges. The high waters also caused damage for many homes, businesses and farms.

A combination of heavy rain and melting snow more than a week ago brought on the flooding. Waterways rose to hazardous levels as a result.

“Guy E. Simmons’s weekend was far from relaxing as he spent [April 13] preparing for the worst at his seasonal home, 3618 County Route 6 in Edwardsville. The house usually overlooks Black Lake, but Sunday it was in the lake,” according to an April 14 story in the Watertown Daily Times.

“High water posed problems for man and beast Tuesday as more than 20 horses were relocated from Ridge Road in the town of Lowville to a barn at the Lewis County Fairgrounds,” according to a Wednesday story in the Times. “Dennis and Jacqueline Mahoney took three trailer trips, relocating their own horses and some they were boarding from their Riverjack Ranch, Castorland, to temporary shelter. Along for the ride was a 2-day-old foal. The horses had settled in comfortably by late afternoon.”

“Floodwaters continued to rise Wednesday in St. Lawrence County, causing more road and bridge closures and resulting in building evacuations,” according to a Thursday story in the Times. “Forty senior housing apartments were evacuated at Cambray Court, 68 W. Main St., Gouverneur, due to flooding from the Oswegatchie River Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Some residents of the 100-unit complex are staying with relatives or at the Kinney Nursing Home on West Barney Street, while others are sleeping in the building’s common room.”

U.S. Sens. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and U.S. Rep. William L. Owens, D-21st District, of Plattsburgh, all called on Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack to issue a disaster declaration for the affected regions of the north country. This would make federal resources available and help get people back on their feet.

It’s difficult watching people hurt by natural disasters. We often feel helpless while others in our own communities suffer needlessly.

One thing we can do is to make sure that disaster-relief organizations are able to carry out their work. The American Red Cross of Northern New York, for example, opened a shelter at the Bassett-Baxter American Legion Post 789 in Carthage for people displaced by the flooding.

The Red Cross always needs monetary donations and volunteers ready to assist those impacted by such incidents. Call 315-782-4410 for more information.

The Salvation Army also provides assistance to people hit by disasters. Call the Fulton Corps at 315-593-8442, the Ogdensburg Corps at 315-393-3351, the Oswego County Corps at 315-343-6491, the Rome Corps at 315-336-4260/4290, or the Watertown Corps at 315-782-4470 to help.

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