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Penn Yan Recovery Efforts

Written By: Asha McKenzie
Penn Yan Recovery Efforts

PENN YAN (WENY) -- Flash Flood warnings and heavy rains this morning, had residents of Penn Yan fearing the worse yet again.
     Close to two inches of rain fell in Penn Yan today just days after a disastrous flood.
     Residents feared that more rain would add on to the substantial amount of damage that was yet to be cleaned up.
     Resident's are now starting to clean out their businesses and homes.
     They are hoping to recover from the flood quickly.
     I spoke with business owners and volunteers about the current process to get Penn Yan back to where it was.
     "I'm gonna cry.. I lost a lot of stuff," said Laura Wilkolaski, owner of Creative Dance Movements.
     There were 30 years worth of memories in Wilkolaski dance studio basement on Main Street; now they are gone.
     With heavy rain warnings this morning, she feared more damage would come to Penn Yan.
     "There's stuff everywhere," said Wilkolaski. "There's debris everywhere. I was a little nervous. Everything is the same here as it was when I left it."
     Every thing's the same but the village is looking ahead.
     With no flood insurance, Wilkolaski is hoping Penn Yan will be declared a disaster to get FEMA aid.
     Until then she seeks the help from an unbreakable community.
     "We're going to combine our forces and get to the volunteers and get everything cleaned up," said Wilkolaski.
     In the heart of Penn Yann is the Living Well. Clothes and shoes that were meant for a church rummage sale are now being used to help those affected by the flood.
     They can go there to get food, water, clothes or shoes including volunteers to help them clean out their business and homes.
     "It's just a wonderful feeling knowing that we're here," said Reverend Judy White, Volunteer with the Living Well. "We started this ministry back in october and little did we know that this was going to be needed."
     The Living well has had roughly 60 volunteers helping out since wednesday.
     Other rescue workers from the Southern Tier traveled upwards of an hour to help flood victims in Yates County.
     The Salvation Army in Elmira came as soon as they heard Penn Yan was in need.
     We decided that we were going to come up and bring our mobile canteen," said Dorie Haggerty of Elmira Salvation Army. "We didn't want the community struggling for food, while they are trying to clean up."