Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 1:41:09 PM

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Effects of the 2011 Floods Two Years Later

Saturday was the 2 year anniversary of the 2011 floods that devastated our area and people are still trying to recover. Fox 40 talked with some of them and took a look back at what happened on that day 2 years ago.

It's hard not to find someone in Owego who wasn't affected by the 2011 floods.The town is still recovering and so are its businesses that were forced to close for weeks and months and then start all over again like Rhonda Renelles, owner of Sweet Valley Chocolates and Backery.

"We opened approximately a year before the flood happened and we did get water on the first floor," she said. "We were closed for three months and we weren't sure if we were going to be able to reopen at all."

The owner of Johns Fine Foods on North Ave in Owego couldnt get back to his store until 2 days after the flood.

"We had 3 feet of water here in the store. I don't know we probably lost well over 100,000 worth of merchandise at least," John Hitchings said.

But there was one thing that kept the  people of the small town going and that was their reliance on each other.

"The glorious thing about Owego is just everyone worked together to help each other," Lisa Curatolo said.

Soon businesses reopened and people slowly started coming to Owego's downtown again.

"I just didn't want to get beaten by the flood if I was going to close I wanted it to be for other reasons and not something like that," Renelles said.

Business owners in Owego said it was the support of everyone in the Southern Tier that helped rebuild their downtown.

"People from Vestal, people from Endicott, Endwell, Towanda, Sayre, everyone came to help support the businesses in the downtown," Curatolo said.

But while it has been two years some say business still isn't the same.

"It's not like it was. And it's not just me it's everybody. You talk to everybody and everybody is still down," Hitchings said.

However the business owners also said they are hopeful that things will be back to normal soon but the possibility of another flood does remain in the back of their minds.

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