National Guard helps flood victims recover

By WKTV News

GERMAN FLATTS, N.Y. (WKTV) – With flooded homes, it’s not a typical Fourth of July for residents, but for the National Guard, it’s just another day.

“You know, when we get called, we go. It doesn’t really matter what day it is,” said Staff Sergeant Corie Guido.

Residents accustomed to celebrating Independence Day with backyard barbeques have more on their mind after severe flooding rocked the Mohawk Valley.

“We’re worried about if it rains again, worrying about the pump filling up in the cellar, you know, no shower, trying to go through all our stuff and dry it out,” said Clement Scalase, a homeowner.

Governor Andrew Cuomo deployed 250 soldiers from the New York National Guard to help hundreds of residents and businesses recover.

“We've got a lot of overwhelmed homes, a lot of trash, a lot of debris both from nature and from basements. They were extra boots on the ground to help fill dumpsters, help residents get them out of their homes and into the streets where they got to be for health issues,” said Mayor Jim Baron of the Village of Mohawk.

They also brought in heavy machinery to widen the creeks and slow down the water. It will help keep the creek from overflowing the banks, especially if it rains again. Even though they’re working hard on a holiday, they say it makes the job more rewarding.

“This is what we do. This is why we raise our right hands and this is why we swear to pledge allegiance to the flag,” said Staff Sergeant Robert Ludwig.

They’re also going door to door, helping clear debris and lift heavy belongings. They say they’ve received an amazing response from the community.

“If you guys didn’t have this devastation going on you would figure that it was just another Fourth of July parade when we were rolling into town. But knowing that they’re actually waving for support and saying hey thanks for being here, it means a lot means a lot to the troops. It’s a morale booster,” said Staff Sergeant Ludwig.

“They should be home celebrating and they’re here helping us . I have no words. It’s overwhelming. It really is,” said Christinne Davis, whose basement was flooded.

The National Guard says there’s a lot of work left to be done and they’ll be in the area as long as they’re needed.

Follow Anna on Twitter: @anna_meiler.

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