Volunteers a blessing

The residents of Fort Plain will rebound from the devastating June 28 flooding. They have the support not only of paid emergency and government work crews but also of countless volunteers who have poured into the village from miles around.

These volunteers are bringing the manpower and compassion needed to help clean up and repair damaged homes and businesses.

Water levels rose several feet on the Otsquago Creek and Mohawk River on the morning of June 28. The flooding from the creek caused severe damage, especially near Abbott and Reid streets. The floodwaters claimed the life of an 87-year-old woman.

Immediately after the floodwaters receded, the cleanup began, and the people of Fort Plain were not alone. Volunteers showed up to help clear the debris and make any repairs they could. They helped clean mud out of homes and businesses and remove muddy water from basements.

Nancy Ryan, pastor of the Fort Plain Reformed Church, said hundreds of volunteers came out to help. She said those volunteering weren’t just people from the local area; they have been coming from all over the state. Some Fort Plain residents have pointed out local Amish have been particularly helpful.

The volunteer support comes as no surprise. After Hurricane?Sandy, people in New York and New Jersey found families and those in their communities were the strongest sources of help.

Despite the terrible damage, those in Fort Plain are hard at work getting their lives back to normal. There still is a lot of work to be done, but we’re confident the village will recover and rebuild, thanks in large part to the help from volunteers.