Lake Delhi Residents: 'We Need Help Down Here'
By Mark Geary, Reporter
LAKE DELHI – Everywhere you go along Lake Delhi in Delaware County, you see busted boats and all kinds of debris.
About 300 to 700 homes got damaged when the dam broke on Saturday. No one knows how long it’s going to take to clean up the mess.
A chance to see the broken Lake Delhi dam attracted plenty of people looking to snap a photo.
But, downstream, homeowners cried out for attention.
“We need help. We need help down here,” homeowner Tammy Gorman said.
Volunteer Andrew Bacon said, “They need more people out here. That’s for sure.”
Gorman bought her home three months ago and planned to retire there.
“I lost everything. Everything. I’m done. I have to start all over,” she said.
She and her neighbors ran out of their homes at 4:00 a.m., carrying dogs Pattie Blu, Sophie and Mazey up a steep hill.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. Honestly, we were slipping and sliding and it was raining and pouring,” Gorman said.
Tammy’s sister, Robin Cram, owns the only home still standing on this stretch of 232nd Avenue.
“I almost feel guilty because everyone else lost everything. I’m the only one left. There is no neighborhood,” Cram said.
A team of teenagers are the only people who helped clean up this particular area. They crawled into mud-caked homes to rescue people’s possessions.
“When you step into the houses, you have to hold on to something. Otherwise, you will slide to the other side,” Bacon said.
Memories of the mud will remain with them forever.
“It was deep and sticky. We were feeling like we were getting stuck in it. We did what we had to do,” volunteer Joey Cram said.
Now, everyone just wants to get their lives back and to save whatever the water didn’t wash away.
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