ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — People who live in Sturgeon are no stranger to floods, and now they’re getting some extra assistance from their firefighters.
Ida’s wrath hit small communities like Sturgeon in Allegheny County early Wednesday morning.
“We were on a moat. Between my house and my brother-in-law’s house, the water was literally coming through like a river,” Dawn Cesaretti said.
Candy Ciaramella, who is the social committee coordinator for the Sturgeon Volunteer Fire Department, said at least a dozen homes sustained damage from the flooding.
Ciaramella and other members of the Sturgeon Volunteer Fire Department knew they had to do something. She said they always help their community, but they wanted to do something big to give back.
“People right here in our own community are suffering and may or may not be displaced. But we still feel like there is a huge need right now in a small area,” Ciaramella said.
They decided to collect donations to assist residents in cleaning up the mess on Thursday night.
“They need garbage bags, cleaning supplies, brooms, dustpans, things like that,” Ciaramella said.
Cesaretti and her family live on Main Street next to Robinson Run Creek. She runs a pet grooming business out of their home. They got 2 1/2 feet of water in their basement.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Brian Delaney’s son grabbed his fishing rod and cast a line in floodwater from the roof of his home in Sturgeon. Remnants of #Ida hit the Allegheny County community early Wednesday morning. (Photo credit: Brian Delaney & Dawn Cesaretti) pic.twitter.com/aCynzntmX5
— Jessica Guay (@JessicaGuayTV) September 3, 2021
Her husband captured a lot of pictures when the flood water was around their home. In one of the photos, his son cast a fishing line from the roof of their home.
The family has been busy cleaning out their basement and figuring out what belongings can be salvaged. They told KDKA that they’ve gone through flooding troubles one too many times.
“They need to do something with the creeks. They really need to dredge them. I don’t care if it’s only going to last for 10 years, they got to get all the crap out of it,” Cesaretti said.
Generous people started showing up when the fire station garage opened for the donation collection at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. It continued until 9 p.m.
“That’s the essence of being a good neighbor, is helping in bad times and good but especially in bad times,” said Frances Metcalf, a member of the Sturgeon VFD who came to donate.
The volunteer firefighters will go house to house with the donations starting on Friday. They want to help their community flow in the right direction.
“We can help with whatever they need. They just need to let us know, and we’re here all the time for them,” Ciaramella said. “We’re going to go house to house, see who needs help and give them what they need, whatever we have left. We also want to keep it going by giving it to other departments in our area so they can help their residents too.”
“It doesn’t surprise me one bit. They’re all about helping the community,” Cesaretti said. “The help is there, sometimes you just got to reach out for it.”
If anyone wants to donate items or gift cards, the fire department asks people to put them in a safe place outside of the fire station. People can make monetary donations online here. Donors should note “community flood help donation.”