Tight-knit community cleans up after Halloween storm, flooding


WELLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Road work and clean-up continues following Thursday night’s storm that left many with power outages, flooded basements, and washed out roads.

With a population of less than 700 people, the tight knit town of Wells in Hamilton County is coming together in a time of crisis.

“I think this is probably the worst that I’ve seen,” said longtime Wells resident Brian Griffin.

The contents of a home are sitting out to dry after water rose up to four feet on the shores of Algonquin Lake. 

“The biggest part of this is just the mess. Everything that had its place three days ago, it’s in a different spot or it’s gone,” said Griffin.

There’s a picnic table from a quarter mile away, a hot water heater, and boats strewn all over the place.

Griffin showed NEWS10 ABC us around his lakeside neighborhood, which was underwater Thursday night. Clean-up continues.

“When we first got here, it looked like a war zone,” said Bryon Flood, owner of Advanced Cleaning and Restoration Services. He’s working on 17 homes in Wells, including Griffin’s. His basement took on a foot of water.

“If we can dry the structure out, sanitize it, these people can get back to their lives again,” said Flood.

It takes a village. Volunteers have been going house to house.

“We just started moving things in the side of the road with tractors and shovels and stuff, and that led into cleaning out houses and loading trailers and stuff and just helping people out,” said Vinnie Lauria.

And making sure everyone’s fed is more volunteers. 

“It’s a small community and that’s just what small communities do,” said Debbie Welch.

With school closed, that includes students, who helped bringing bagged lunches to road workers and the elderly. 

“The people don’t have time to come here and eat, so the volunteers that are working in different homes and different buildings, churches we will send out meals for them,” said Welch.

Road work continues with closures on Route 8 and Route 30.

“For a while, you couldn’t leave town. You still can’t go north very far,” said Griffin.

But in just a few short days, there’s been major progress. The community is hoping that they can pull through together.

“We’ll survive and we’ll come out of it. It’s going to take some time though,” said Welch.

Bottled water is available behind the fire station in Wells as a boil water advisory remains in effect until further notice.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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