N.Y. Members Assist Snowbound Residents in Winter Storm's Wake
By 1st Lt. Franklin Birt
Public Affairs Officer
South Central Group
New York Wing
Seventeen members from the New York Wing’s South Central Group pitched in to help Broome County residents with snow removal and pressing needs in the aftermath of Winter Storm Stella.
Broome County officials requested Civil Air Patrol’s assistance after the storm dumped 30-40 inches of snow throughout the area. Their response was coordinated through Community Organizations Active in Disaster) and the Broome County Council of Churches.
Eleven cadets and six senior members cleared snow from driveways and sidewalks of four Broome County residents, some of whom had not been able to leave their homes for almost a week.
One elderly man told CAP officials the members’ efforts enabled him to finally leave his home and pick up a refill at the pharmacy after taking the last of h is medication. “I am free!” he exclaimed, his arms raised.
Lillian Brystricky, 90 of Endicott said she had no local friends or family to help clear her driveway and sidewalk. “I would do it myself, but I have an aneurysm in my abdomen that is about to burst,” she said.
Ann Olsen of Endwell walks with the aid of a walker, and she needed help clearing a wheelchair ramp at her home. “If they need to take me to the emergency room again, they are going to need that clear,” Olsen said.
The cadets, shovels in hand, made quick work of the snow. “That went quicker than I thought,” said Cadet Staff Sgt. Kristin Cogshall, 14, of the Binghamton-based Broome Tioga Composite Squadron.
“I liked listening to their stories. It made me sad, but I am glad we could help them.” Cogshall said.
“Disaster relief falls under one of Civil Air Patrol’s primary missions, emergency services,” said Lt. Col. Doug Jensen, South Central Group commander. “It is also in line with our commitment to community service.”