Relief for Flood Victims

Attleboro Sun Chronical
Sunday, April 17, 2011

NORTH ATTLEBORO – A “Day of Caring” that resonated throughout South Shore cities and towns on Saturday reached out to the Folan family.

The work at the Longview Drive home was part of a larger effort as a regional group of 100 volunteers affiliated with the Southern Massachusetts Long Term Recovery Group took time to fan out to make repairs at 20 area homes that were devastated by last spring’s severe flooding.

Volunteers Mike Hayes, Kevin Petrillo, Jeremy Levine and Bob Thomas were part of a team putting up several feet of wallboard in the basement of Edward and Madeline Folan.

“Whatever was down there, went,” said Edward Folan, recalling the 5 inches of water that came up through the floor of his finished basement during the heavy rain that fell last March and April.

“Tax records, furniture, Christmas decorations, clothing,” he said.

Folan, who built the 1,300-square-foot finished basement eight years ago, estimates he lost $93,000 worth of goods. The flooding was so bad that “even the living-room floor started to buckle,” he said.

The volunteers, who started shortly after 10 a.m., planned to work until late in the afternoon.

“When an opportunity like this comes up, everyone jumps on board,” said Hayes, who is an assistant manager at the Brockton Stop & Shop.

Hayes also said that 25 people from his store offered to donate their time.

“It’s great to help out, anytime you get a chance to help somebody,” he said.

The men worked to the sounds of Bon Jovi, the Police and Aerosmith from a cellphone while measuring and cutting pieces of mold-free wallboard around the basement. Wearing masks to protect themselves from the boards’ dust and any lingering specks of mold, they worked quickly but efficiently. “It’s rewarding to see us coming here to help out the community,” said Thomas, who is also an assistant manager at the Abington Stop & Shop. “We’re just trying to help people recover.”

In all, Folan was pleased with their efforts.

“They do good work,” he said.

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