Thursday, August 13, 2009

Catching up the news from Gowanda

So many things happening that it is impossible to keep up, but some things of note.

* Getting volunteers has been more challenging than expected. I guess people do not want to give up a summer weekend. Not sure but it is disappointing. Remember it is open to everyone. So if you are reading this, you qualify :) (if under 18, need a parent's signature on the waiver form)

* I was impressed that a trampoline ended up several blocks down the street until I heard of a camper still missing and a truck floated nearly 2 miles down the creek.

* Water is a problem. It caused the problems first, now a long term problem. With limited reservoir capacity and quickly emptying supplies, trucking in water is at best inefficient. I hear they did get the old wells working today but are concerned they won't last since the pumps are so old. Fingers are crossed!

* Spoke with a few residents today who were not familiar with mold. If you have drywall that got wet, be very careful. I had one tell me today it was ok since she had wiped it off the front of the wall. The problem is that the drywall (sheetrock) gets wet straight through. Add that to insulation behind the wall, and you have an environment that is nearly perfect for mold growth.
For more, see this from Texas A&M, or from the EPA, or this from forest products that is very well done.

* Hot or cold? Clean-up would be horrible in the cold, but mold growth would be inhibited.

* Dust is a big problem. An idea from Cedar Rapids Iowa after their flooding that should be used in Gowanda: spraying the roads with water. I spoke with a friend tonight who said that the Little Valley Race track has a tanker like that. If not use oil tankers (for crushed stone streets) filled with water. It will at least help keep dust down.

* It petrifies me the number of residents who have said they have had "shocks" when unplugging appliances etc. Turn the electricity off before working on the house. Please.

* Walking around town with Bill Driscoll of HODR reminded me how good HODR is. They will be checking early next week but it looks unlikely that they will be coming.

* Has anyone tried getting any of the Sabres or Bills down? It would be good for morale and would get more press coverage.

* Parents, PLEASE have your children wear shoes.

* I have not seen (which does not mean they are not there) but anyone giving out tetanus shots. Make sure you have had one. ESPECIALLY if you get ANY cut/scratch/etc. It is NOT something to play around with.

* Have had several "special" moments already. One was when I sent out a request for volunteers and heard back from Mark and Ken who we had helped build a house for last year. This time they want to give back and are volunteering this time around.

* I know there is a clothing collection. I hope it goes better than after Katrina. There were piles of clothes being thrown out on many street corners. (if it does happen again, there are places that will recycle the clothes).

* Speaking of collections, I have heard from two people (and will be contacting a third) about furniture donations. Not sure on how to give out, but stay tuned.

* Unlike in Mississippi, Texas, Alabama etc, everyone has heard of Bonaventure. Indeed I have been amazed at how many people I have run into that I know. Even Janey who went with us to Pearlington MS.

* We will be working Fri-Sun. Most of us will probably be wearing brown. If you see any of us, feel free to come up and tell us of other jobs. Or better, come volunteer with us!

* Saying "We can't help you" is the hardest thing I do. It won't happen too often if we get enough volunteers. Volunteer and get your friends to as well!

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1 comment:

Grace said...

My name is Grace. I am a graduate of St. Bonaventure in 2004 with an Education degree. Although I live in Collins right next door to Gowanda, and Collins did not get hit with anything I know a great many people who live in Gowanda, including my boyfriends mother. I have been helping her with her basement, getting stuff out, and mud and now bleaching and cleaning. I want to meet 'Bona Responds' at the Gowanda Fire Hall to help people. Go house to house. People are telling me they have no clothes because they took all the clothes downstairs to get washed Sunday night. Another person said one of their children had a bedroom in the basement and so that child has nothing left. Others do not have enough people to assist in cleaning their house, and I am afraid the mold in going to be a problem. It is time we go house to house to house to house. I will be at the Fire Hall tommorrow to meet you all, after I am finished with the last day of summer school.