Updated 07/30/2012 06:25 PM
Elmira recovering after the tornado
As of 6 p.m. Monday, the State of Emergency in Elmira was lifted, but that doesn't mean the work is over. Crews have been out around the clock to rebuild since the storm and as our Bill Mich tells us, emergency officials are optimistic about a full recovery.
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ELMIRA, N.Y. -- "If you consider the number of roads that were impassable and the number of people who had no power, no telephone, no cable, the progress has truly been remarkable," said Mike Smith, the Chemung County Emergency Management Director.
Thursday afternoon, after an EF1 tornado touched down, the City of Elmira was a mess. Downed trees, downed power lines and damage to homes and businesses. Since then, NYSEG, along with city and county crews, have been working virtually around the clock.
"This morning, they've got the total number of outages down to a remarkable level. It is something over 400, I believe, in the entire Elmira division," Smith said.
In Chemung County, 16 residential properties have been declared uninhabitable, with four of them being destroyed. Organizations like the Red Cross have been assisting those in need of food and shelter.
"Damage assessment teams have gone out into areas and we also have client case workers who are working with the people that we have identified who have needs that we can address," said Joel Robinson, the Executive Director of the Sullivan Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross is currently taking donations so it can continue to help those in need. Emergency officials say the first few days after the storm have been great, but there is a long road to recovery after something like this, and continued support for the crews and other local residents will make rebuilding that much easier.
"Assistance that people have provided to their neighbors. Friends and neighbors and family members coming to help with debris removal and to get this stuff out onto the curb, that's really a wonderful notion of what a community we have here," said Smith.
Officials say if we are to learn anything from the experience it is to be prepared for severe weather. Take advantage of radio alerts, smart phone apps or anything thing else to warn you of an approaching storm.
For more information about the assistance the Red Cross is providing or how to donate to the effort, be sure to visit their website at redcross.org.