According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, recent flooding in Jamestown, Kiantone, Busti and Silver Creek destroyed 85 homes, severely damaged 196 homes and damaged 129 other homes, according to County Executive Greg Edwards.
Edwards said 410 homes throughout the county were inspected after the floods.
''The volunteer fire departments, emergency personnel and numerous volunteers have been working tirelessly on behalf of the residents of Silver Creek and Forestville'' Edwards said. ''It is going to be a long proces to get these people back to where they need to be. I would like to encourage people within our community to assist with the relief effort by any means possible, whether it be donating their time, money or supplies.''
Families are helped at one of the American Red Cross family assistance centers in Silver Creek and Gowanda.
The American Red Cross, Chautauqua County Chapter, is operating local disaster family assistance centers in Silver Creek and Gowanda. The one-stop centers had provided comprehensive family assistance, including $27,000 in Red Cross direct financial assistance, 400 Red Cross clean-up kits, Social Services emergency housing assistance, food assistance, mental health counseling and water. Other help and referrals have also been available.
The American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund is accepting donations. On those occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Donations help the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 800-733-2767 or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to the local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.
The Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, 319 W. Third St., Jamestown, is collecting any food, clothing or household items people are willing to donate. Items can be dropped off between 7:30 a.m. and 8 pm. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Paula Pichon, Faith Based Initiative coordinator, is working with families who need housing and transportation to and from work. Many families whose homes were destroyed are looking for apartments to rent, while others lost their cars and are unable to get to work. They are looking for affordable cars for sale or people willing to give them rides from Silver Creek to Dunkirk. Automobile repair shops and mechanics willing to volunteer their time are also needed.
For more information, call Paula Pichon at 50-8469 or 410-1640.
Volunteers are still needed to help with the clean-up process in Gowanda, Silver Creek and Forestville. For more information, call Troy Smith, Chautauqua County Veterans Services director, at 397-3152.
In Cattaraugus County, the Family Assistance Center at the Gowanda Elementary School on Aldrich Street is open from noon to 7 p.m. with services including food and water, temporary assistance, food stamps, temporary shelter applications and food replacement for those with food stamps; information about furnace, hot water tank and appliance replacement, general health information, assistance with medications and nursing staff; crisis and ongoing counseling services; links to other services; and, for those over the age of 60, water, shelf stable meals, assistance with hot water tank and furnace replacement and assistance with other clean-up services.