Neighbors on E. Walnut Street in Oneida spent hours on Monday afternoon cleaning out personal belongings ruined in the flood. Front-end loaders lifted mud-covered items off of curbs and into dumpsters.
Many are frustrated President Obama has not yet declared the area a disaster zone, thereby preventing federal aid from FEMA.
"I can't afford to go out and spend $30,000 or $40,000 to fix the home," said Fred Rinaldo, who lost everything in his home and is counting on federal aid to rebuild. "Somebody's got to help, you know, as far as the government. I mean, I hate to ask them, but I'm between a hard rock and a stone right now."
"Some don't have insurance," said neighbor Lorraine Warren. "What are they going to do, especially if FEMA doesn't come through? This is definitely a disaster. It should be deemed a disaster."
Cassy Carlson is also hoping for FEMA aid, and said she continues pumping water out of her basement every morning. "I think they need to get a dictionary to figure out what the word 'disaster' means because if they come down here, this is a disaster in every sense of the word," Carlson said.
Neighbors are currently using assistance from charitable organizations, including the Red Cross and Salvation Army, as they begin to clean up.