The Yorkers Local History Club at Owego-Apalachin Middle School is leading what we consider to be a very important community project. The club is lead by Christina Bangel, a teacher at OAMS for the past 18 years. A community history is being compiled to help establish the historical record surrounding an event that has impacted our area in untold ways and has changed many of our lives forever.
The Flood of 2011 wreaked havoc on our land, our homes and our communities. The physical and emotional losses were tremendous. But even on the darkest of days, one thing became very clear: we were and are UNSINKABLE!
People in this region joined together to fight the flood and its after effects, forging new and stronger ties to each other in the process. Perhaps nowhere has this been more evident than in the Owego, Apalachin, Nichols and Tioga areas where neighbors went from being acquaintances on a dry day to being more like kin when the waters rose.
Through interviews, submissions on our Facebook page and via email, the community is helping us build a document that will serve as witness for our descendants. This text will reside in our historical society and local libraries. It will serve as a resource for generations to come, a first person “from the heart” account of the horror and more importantly, the moments of grace experienced by us all during this time.
It is our hope that many, many residents will take part, no matter how long or short their account, and become a part of our voice, our story, our gift to our children. They need to know that in the face of adversity so great it destroyed vibrant neighborhoods and erased lifetimes of tangible memories, their parents and grandparents remained: UNSINKABLE!
Below that is a link to a video produced by our school about the project.
(Christina Bangel is a member of Owego-Apalachin Teachers Association)