From left: US Senator Chuck Schumer, Mamaroneck Mayor Tom Murphy, Governor Kathy Hochul and US Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand in Mamaroneck Friday

Note: The Mamaroneck Chamber has set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise money for the most critically impacted businesses. The Chamber says:

  • Hampshire Country Club, 1025 Cove Road in Mamaroneck is opening it’s doors to anyone who needs a shower or to charge their phones.  They are also setting up a clothing drive and asking for toiletry donations.
  • Chocolations, 607 E. Boston Post Rd in Mamaroneck is collecting in person donations for the Mamaroneck Chamber Hurricane Ida Relief Fund.
  • Toyota City, 1305 E. Boston Post Rd in Mamaroneck is offering to donate their unused land on Boston Post Rd. for anyone who needs a place to store items.  They are also willing to help out anyone with any requests within their capacity to help where they can.

Go Fund Me page to help a local family.

Anderson Escobar’s family lost everything in the flood

“I lost everything. Everything.”  That is what you hear from numerous Mamaroneck residents.

I don’t even have a bed,” said Sabu Marahj ,who watched as a surge of flood water crashed through his apartment windows on Wednesday night. Marahj who has lived across from Columbus Park for more than 20 years, sat on the front stoop exhausted and in disbelief from hauling all his family’s belongings to the curb. As a day laborer he says insurance was always out of financial reach so he cannot fathom how to begin to replace anything.

One block away 14 year old Anderson Escobar stands with his family looking at everything they own wrapped in garbage bags. His little sister, barefoot, looks for a pair of shoes.

“I feel sad because we lost everything. We have nothing,” he says. “We don’t have clothes, a bed, nothing.” As he points to the garbage he remembers all he has lost. “Everything from my room, my computer, everything. We have to start from zero.”

As clean-up of the debris strewn about streets and parks begins to accelerate, New York Governor Kathy Hochul arrived to inspect the damage with Mamaroneck Mayor Tom Murphy and both of New York’s US Senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Governor Hochul came with a signed emergency declaration in hand, relaying assurances from the White House that the Federal Government will do all in its power to accelerate the flow of emergency aid to the area.

Damage in shop on Mamaroneck Avenue

The officials stopped by the flood epicenter near the convergence of the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake Rivers to assure volunteers from the Community Resource Center that substantial resources are on the way. Senator Schumer told the group “I’m doing all I can to get federal aid flowing.”

Just a few feet away, another group of volunteers was working to clean up and repair the Hunger Task Force distribution center that was set up during the height of the Covid shutdown. Slick brown mud was washed from pallets used to store food, and a new storage container was trucked in to replace one that been swept downriver by the flood. It contained much of the equipment the group uses to distribute food to the needy.

The Community Resource Center set up a table at Columbus Park gathering information from more than fifty families suffering from the storm’s wrath while nearby a church offers coffee, drinks and snacks. Business owners in the worst hit section of Mamaroneck Avenue north of the Metro North tracks had waterlogged merchandise and wrecked furnishings stacked outside their shops and were assured that a variety of small business loans and FEMA aid will be in place to get them back up and running.

Further east in Harrison a grim search is underway for a missing Iona College Professor who was swept away by the current when the vehicle she and husband were riding in became trapped in the rising waters Thursday evening.  Fran and Ken Bailie left the Iona campus in New Rochelle after teaching classes and left for their home in Rye Brook, but never arrived.  Their vehicle was found abandoned near the Blind Brook. Ken Bailie’s body was discovered down stream.  It is presumed the couple got out to try and walk and were swept away.

Beyond flood relief, the elected officials on site in Mamaroneck Friday were talking about flood mitigation.  Work was to have begun last year on an $80 Million Army Corps of Engineers project to reduce the threat in the Mamaroneck flood plain, but the Trump administration abruptly put the effort on hold. The Office of Management and Budget explained, “OMB concludes the report review is not consistent with the policy and programs of the President.”

With a new President and fresh evidence of the need for the project it is hoped that may soon change. The Village of Mamaroneck and Westchester County have already committed  $26 million toward the price tag; Once the federal government steps up construction will begin, but no timetable has been established for restarting the stalled flood control effort.

Clean up at Food Pantry Distribution Tent in Columbus Park
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