Severe Weather Team 6 Stories
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- Federal officials, local representatives reviewing Elk Co. flood impact
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- Ridgway businesses cleaning up, working to reopen quickly
- Residents relying on each other for help in flood recovery
- Ridgway Fire Department assisting with flooded basements
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Elk Co. flood damage assessments continue
Updated: Tuesday, May 27 2014, 06:28 PM EDT
Reported By: Deven Clarke
Written By: Marc Stempka
RIDGWAY, Pa. -- State leaders were in Elk County Tuesday for a sky-high view of the flood damage in several communities, and to continue to work with residents who were affected by last week's severe flooding.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, state Sen. Joe Scarnati and others toured businesses and homes in Ridgway, which was the community worst-hit by Wednesday's flooding when the Clarion River rose well above flood stage.
Cawley flew in to Ridgway by helicopter, allowing him to get a bird's-eye view of the destruction.
As the town continues to work to clean up, the damage assessments continue because those will determine how much aid, if any, could be made available for those affected by the flood waters.
"That's why we're here today, to understand what exactly did happen and how we can bring the resources of the commonwealth to bear in order to help these folks get back to a normal life," Cawley said.
Cawley and those touring the damage visited Noel Feronti's home. Feronti has lived on Penn Avenue in Ridgway for nearly 50 years and suffered severe flood damage in his home’s basement and first floor.
"There was hardly anything we could save. I've got some stuff lying around here," Feronti said. "I've got some stuff lying around here that I’m going to try and salvage. I don't know if I can or not."
Scarnati said Feronti's story is like so many others in that area, and are why state leaders would like to help ease the financial burden of rebuilding.
"Clearly I think we need to be doing more and allocating some money in the state budget for these communities," Scarnati said.
Cawley said flooding will never be able to be stopped, but being prepared and ready to provide assistance is important.
"You can perhaps minimize the effect, but not going to necessarily be able to prohibit, but when Mother Nature wants to let you know who's boss, she has a very unique way of doing it," Cawley said.
Cawley said he will also be in touch with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine what, if any, role the East Branch Dam up river from the flooded communities may have had.