Community comes together after flooding damages homes

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HALFMOON, N.Y. – Neighbors and teachers from a nearby school district banded together Friday to offer a helping hand to a family who lost belongings in a flash flood.

“This is the worst it’s ever been,” resident Wes Johnston said. “The worst, the absolute worst.”

Johnston lives on New Castle Road in Halfmoon with his 13-year-old grandson Codi Heidt. Water destroyed much of their basement. They believe it was because of a nearby drainage pipe that had become partially blocked.

But less than 24 hours later, something amazing happened.

“If someone needs my help, and I’m available, I kind of just feel that I need to go,” Jaime Plantz said.

Plantz is a teacher at Shatekon Elementary School. When she watched NEWS10 ABC Thursday night, she instantly recognized her former student.

“Last night when I saw him on the news, it was immediately a double take,” she said. “‘Wait a minute. That’s Codi.’”

She began making calls to help and decided to stop by and lend a hand.

“We had to rip up some carpets,” she said. “They were pretty water logged, so they were heavy, and we got some furniture out of some tight spots.”

“I haven’t seen her in a really long time, and I’m thankful she came out and helped us,” Heidt said.

Johnston was also thankful the teachers came out to help.

“The teachers coming over today was fantastic,” he said. “It was incredible.”

The town of Halfmoon brought two dumpsters for people to discard their ruined property. They were already filled and taken away. A third is set to be brought to the neighborhood Saturday morning.

And while residents are left with the huge task of cleaning up, they know they don’t have to do it alone.

“It’s been terrific. I got great neighbors,” Johnston said. “And I really didn’t know it until now.”

“I really want to thank the whole Shen district for what they’re doing for this neighborhood and everyone around,” Heidt said.

Heidt is also staying positive despite having his bedroom washed out.

“It’s not the end of the world,” he said. “We can fix this. It’s not a problem.”

Neighbors are also cooking food for one another and some teachers from the Shen community are planning to donate gift cards so families can continue to put their lives back together.

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