WXXI AM News

Sandbag distribution is a community effort in Greece

May 5, 2017

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Cars continue to line up at the Greece Department of Public Works building on Long Pond Road to collect sandbags.

With more rain on the way this weekend, Commissioner of Public Works in the Town of Greece Kirk Morris asks that homeowners try and collect no more than 200 sandbags from the pickup station to ensure there is enough to go around.

Morris says the help of a sandbag filling machine has helped distribution efforts, as well as volunteers from the community.

"There was several people who state that they were already set up with bags around their house, they just went back to the park to help people load up their vehicles, because they knew they were set, and just to help out their neighbors, so its been absolutely wonderful."

The Greece DPW says they will be open everyday from 9am to 4pm through next Friday supplying sandbags for homeowners along the lakeshore.

Marcia Najjar was in line gathering bags Friday afternoon. After filling 60 of her own she said, she's grateful the pre-filled bags are now available.

"I was out of town until late Monday so when I came back I had water in my basement and there had been quite a bit of splashing from even last week."

Vincent George was collecting another load of sandbags for his home, he said hes been living on the lakeshore for 20 years has never experienced flooding like this.

"Its unbelievable what's going on over there right now. I pumped out probably 10,000 cubic feet of water from my basement, from the crawl space so far. I'm going to go back and turn the pump back on, its just unreal what's happening."

This was George's 3rd trip to the DPW for sandbags.

Many of the residents loading their cars with sandbags Friday afternoon were on their 2nd, 3rd, even 5th trips to the DPW building for sandbags.

A mix of national guard, public works employees and volunteers have been crucial to the distribution of the sandbags. Students from Greece Athena High School have also been coming to the site to help, including sophomore Jenah MacDonald.

"There are so many people who are devastated from what's happening and we just want to make sure that they can have a place that's safe and secure."

Fueled by pizza and a table of snacks off to the side, the students eagerly carted bag after bag into truck beds and back seats all while maintaining very up beat attitudes.

The students said they received volunteer and community service hours for their help. 

The Department of Public Works in Greece says anyone who can help out in distribution efforts is welcome, you can contact the town supervisors office or the DPW directly.