Two local businesses washed out by recent flooding are up and running again — thanks to the helping hands of generous neighbors.
Campers at Ranch Side Park Campground cleaned up that site, and community members showed up to help at LaBarre's Store after the two Ellenburg businesses got socked by flooding Aug. 4.
LaBarre's Store experienced dramatic water damage, with a large portion of the parking lot being washed away and water damaging some of the goods.
"It was quite a shock to all of us," Sue Curry, owner of LaBarre's, said this past weekend as she reflected on the flash flood. "When we went to bed, everything was fine."
There was nothing to predict the waters that would soon submerge cars and the nearby footbridge, leaving her store a watery mess.
However, with the help of the community, she had to turn customers away only that day and the next.
By the third day, the store was fully open.
'FEEL VERY BLESSED'
The key to the quick cleanup was help by neighbors, Curry said, as well as complete strangers.
Mechanics, plumbers and people just showed up there to help any way they could and began cleaning and fixing the place up.
"They wouldn't take any pay for anything. It was just amazing," Curry said. "I feel very blessed to live in a community where people are so willing to lend a helping hand to someone who can use it."
The Owl's Nest in Chateaugay sent pizza, and the Ellenburg Meat Center donated meat platters to help feed the volunteer workers.
In light of other hardships in the world and floods such as the ones in Pakistan, Curry feels rather blessed.
"We lost some product, we lost a vehicle, we lost tools," Curry said, "but to me that's minimal compared to what a lot of people have gone through."
On Aug. 4, County Legislator Sam Trombley ran for help as people fought for their lives in the rapids that suddenly developed near Ranch Side Park Campground, which he owns.
Clinton County Fire and Emergency Services rescued as many as six people from the floods, with State Police using a helicopter and landing boat to help.
"They were well trained; they did everything perfectly," Trombley said. "Everything was done professionally and swiftly — that's why no one got hurt."
The day of the flooding was Trombley's wedding anniversary, and he awoke to find his Ranch Side Park Campground covered in flowing water.
RAKES AND SHOVELS
With the help of the campers, he was able to get the campground cleaned up.
"Those who were physically fit came with rakes and shovels," Trombley said, with the rest helping with easier tasks. "All my campers, they came forth."
Ultimately, only one section, near the beach, was closed, and just two or three camper units had to be written off as losses.
The water and electricity are back on, Trombley said, and all he has left to do is seed the soil and fix up some of the salvageable campers.
Still, the violent flooding left damage that both LaBarre's and Ranch Side Park have not completely healed from.
"We still have some cleanup," Curry said.
The raging waters even twisted the metal on a 4X4 truck with a plow, Trombley said, teaching him just how powerful nature can be.
"I never believed water would have that much pressure to do that much damage."
Curry feels grateful to know that when Mother Nature hits, the community won't back down.
"There's no way I could have it up and running without everyone's help," she said.
"The community, they put the store back together."