Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Flooding in Penn Yan/Yates County

Update and how you can help

Several of you have called to ask how you can help with relief efforts in Penn Yan assevere flooding continues

We\'ve been in touch with the Rev. David Grant Smith, Rector of St. Mark\'s in Penn Yan, who gave us some updates: 

  • At this point, St. Mark\'s has minor flooding and mud damage, but is otherwise okay. The church, if cleaned, could be used as a relief staging area.
  • The Living Well, part of the United Methodist Church in Penn Yan, is working with FEMA and the Red Cross to coordinate disaster relief. We\'re sending all interested volunteers their way. Please call (315) 521-6883 to reach The Living Well.
  • We\'ve contacted Episcopal Relief & Development to put them in touch with The Living Well.
  • David says many residents are weary or numb, especially due to loss of homes and major damage downtown - but he says there\'s a sense of solidarity growing in the community. Please keep the people of Yates County in your prayers.
  • Please make sure to call The Living Well before traveling to Penn Yan or Yates County to help - the flooding situation is ongoing, so it\'s vital to work directly with coordinators.

UPDATE 2 - 10:39 a.m.


From: penn-yan-area-council-of-churches On Behalf Of Pastor Michele C. Fischer
Sent: 15 May, 2014 11:13 AM
To: penn-yan-area-council-of-churches

I have a few important notes to pass on regarding the state of emergency in Yates County.

1.     Food for the Needy is holding an emergency food distribution on both Friday and Saturday (5/16 & 5/17/14) from 9 AM - 11 AM at the First Baptist Church.  Volunteers who want to help are welcome.  Also, please get the word out to those who are in need of emergency food!

2.     Need Help cleaning up?   Call the Living Well 521-6883. They are working out of the Penn Yan United Methodist Church at Main and Chapel streets. They are coordinating volunteers. Look for the blue canopy tent.

3.     Want to volunteer ?  Call the Living Well 521-6883. They are working out of the PY UMC church at Main and Chapel streets. They are coordinating volunteers. Look for the blue canopy tent.

4.     Please encourage people to stay away from downtown UNLESS they are helping.

5.     Some of the folks in apartments on Main street are being told to find other housing. If you know of low income rental places in the village, please reply to this email. I know of at least one older male who is in need of housing for himself and one cat.   He needs a place for the cat temporarily as they cannot have animals at the academy.

Update 3: 10:44 a.m.

From: Stephanie Bates
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2014 11:17 AM
To: Stephanie Bates
Subject: FW: Help Needed in Penn Yan! Help Available in Penn Yan!

Hello All-

The correct number to call to help at Camp Good Days (they have requested help in food cleanup and repairs) is: main office at 585-624-5555 or toll free 800-785-2135

As you all know, Penn Yan has experienced devastating flooding.  We are a strong community and I know many of you want to help.  Here are some ways you can help:

If you’d like to volunteer to clean up our homes, businesses and streets:

Please call the Living Well at 315-521-6883 or stop by Penn Yan United Methodist Church under the blue canopy.  Bring shovels and rakes if you can, work gloves, and be sure to wear closed toe shoes or boots and clothes you are not afraid to get dirty in!

If you are not able to help with clean up but still want to volunteer:

You can show up at the First Baptist Church in Penn Yan on Friday, May 16 and/or Saturday, May 17 at 8am to help with emergency food distribution.

Right now, the American Red Cross Shelter at the Academy has enough food. 

If anyone wants to make donations to the Red Cross and ensure they stay local, here are the instructions; Drop a check off to the Living Well’s Temporary location which is in the Memorial Building (next to the Methodist Church on Main Street). The checks can be made out to the American Red Cross or the Living Well BUT, be sure to put in the memo line; PY 2014 FLOOD RELIEF.

The Mobile Food Pantry in Rushville is open to everyone TONIGHT!

The Rushville Mobile Food Pantry is tonight (THURSDAY, 5/15) from 5-7 Pm at the Rushville United Methodist Church.  All are welcome.

Please pass this along to those who want to help or who may need help!


Update 4: 10:47 a.m.


From: 'Stephanie Bates' <BatesS@proactioninc.org>
Date: May 16, 2014 8:07 AM
Subject: State of Yates County - Friday May 16 (SOE) remains in effect
To: 'Stephanie Bates' <BatesS@proactioninc.org>



Yates County Sheriff’s Office

Penn Yan, New York   14527

Ronald G. Spike, Sheriff

315-536-4438 – sheriff@yatescounty.org




Date 6:30AM – MAY 16, 2014 

State of Emergency remains in effect in parts of Yates County since Wednesday’s flooding and destruction.

A new rain storm that commenced at 3:15AM Friday morning is now causing creeks and streams to rise once again in many of the previously affected areas. A flash flood warning is in affect due to this NEW storm and at this time County Road 29 (Guyanoga Valley Road) has been closed back down near Branchport, NY by County Highway Dept. due to flooding conditions. Several other town and county roads are starting to flood again as well as parts of two state highways Rte 364 and 245.

Sheriff’s Traveler’s advisory for roadways and Keuka Lake remains in effect. The lake is about one foot above its norm at this time and with this new storm will likely rise higher. The lake has much debris floating in it from the storm. Drivers are cautioned that they may come upon barricades or roads that are only one lane so caution is advised.

Penn Yan School is closed for students but not for staff today.

Steady work by State, County Highway, Town Highway, and Village of Penn Yan Municipal crews have mitigated or temporarily repaired many roads, streets, culverts and driveways. Seven town roads remain closed from Wednesdays storm.

The village of Penn Yan has some streets with water flowing currently and the ARC of Yates facility on North Ave is experiencing flooding and sandbagging has commenced for that location. Inmates for the Yates County Jail filled over 800 sandbags yesterday and will continue that effort today. Penn Yan Police did make two arrests of persistent trespass violators of barricaded areas near the Elm Street flood destruction overnight.

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) advises not to drive your vehicle into areas where the water is covering a roadway as the water depth may be to great to allow a vehicle to safely operate.

The Living Well in Penn Yan continues to coordinate volunteers and the American Red Cross temporary shelter at the PY High School continues to operate for some whose homes are no longer habitable. OEM advises that NYS-DART teams made 228 home inspections in Penn Yan since Wednesday and 26 in the town of Jerusalem. 11 homes in the village of Penn Yan were classified severely damaged and 2 in Jerusalem. YC Public Health and Yates-Steuben Pro-Action have provided much assistance. Yates County Soil and Water have been of great assistance in assessments. The state of New York via the DOT, SP’s, and emergency management are providing added resources to address numerous issues. The Lt. Governor Duffy visited some of the flood stricken areas yesterday. 

The new storm is expected to steady rain most of the day Friday. Once again the State of Emergency remains in effect as does the Travelers advisory for the affected areas, especially the Town of Jerusalem