• Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Flooding cleanup volunteers


    Millvale and nearby communities were among those hardest hit by severe flooding in Western Pennsylvania this summer.

    While the streets are clear of flood debris, the damage is far from gone. Channel 11 met up with teams of volunteers making sure the floodwater doesn't make people sick months later.

    Barb Oswald still can't believe the water in Girty's Run Creek came up 12 feet and flooded her basement in early July. She said the water destroyed priceless memories, like her parents' wedding photos and her son's baby book, and she didn't know where to turn. That is, until Glenn Smith came knocking.

    "Glenn knocked on the door, he says to me, "Do you need help?" And I cried on his shoulder, literally," Oswald said. "I was so thankful to know there were people who cared."


    Smith works with North Hills Community Outreach, a faith-based group addressing the needs of people facing hardship, crisis or poverty. Glenn says he was just an average volunteer for the organization. Now, he's become the man tasked with organizing teams of volunteers to help hundreds of people hit by the flooding in and around Millvale.

    "Once the floodwaters recede, everybody kind of takes a deep sigh and it becomes backpage news now and on to the next crisis of the day," Smith said. However, he said the reality is there is still a long way to go.

    Smith and his teams are coming into recently mucked-out homes to sanitize and clean them so families don't get sick from mildew and mold.

    "It's not hard work, but it's necessary work that needs to be done," Smith told Channel 11. "We need to reach out to these people and show them we care."

    Many of the people they are helping are elderly, and some are disabled.

    "We've just begun," said Smith. "Quite honestly, we are all so very busy we don't really have time to stop and think about it. We get a lot of hugs, we get a lot of hugs."

    Smith says you can volunteer as much as you want, or even just a few hours one afternoon. It all helps.
    To connect with the volunteer groups, go to their website.


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