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      Flood victims take advantage of Red Cross bulk distribution sites

      Volunteers from the Red Cross give supplies to flood victims in Oneida Castle.

      Flood victims took time away from cleaning their once-flooded homes to pick up supplies at Red Cross bulk distribution sites on Friday.

      In Oneida County, the Red Cross set up a site at the Oneida Castle Fire Department, while in Montgomery County, they set up a site at Haslett Park in the Village of Fort Plain.

      In Oneida Castle, several of the people who pulled up to the site said their homes had completely flooded, and that they had been leaning on friends and family for help, which is what led them to the Red Cross bulk distribution site.

      "It would be tough [without it]," David Allea, whose trailer on Prospect Street in Oneida flooded on Friday morning, says. "You would have to go get it yourself, it's just more money coming out that some people might not have, so it's definitely a good service."

      The Red Cross offered comfort kits that included supplies like deodorant, toothpaste and shampoo and clean-up kits that included brooms, mops and bleach. Volunteers were also onhand offering information and tending to the emotional needs of the victims, an important piece of the flooding as reality sets in.

      "Everybody takes it differently," Tina Barber, whose home flooded in Vernon Center, says. "For the first three days we were just cleaning out the house..cleaning out the house..and it was constant, 6 o'clock in the morning, and now you're at a standstill so now what do you do? You sit and you think about everything you've just lost."

      Barber remained positive, saying she was ready to rebuild a new home, and soon a new life, as she gets married in just 37 days.

      On Saturday, the Red Cross will open distribution sites from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Remington Arms in Ilion in Herkimer County and also at Mohawk High School in the Village of Mohawk. They will also be present again in Oneida County, at the Village of Clinton Municipal Building on Saturday.