For many, the emotional toil following a catastrophic flood can be more difficult to deal with than the physical damage to property. Project Renew hopes to help alleviate some of this personal devastation.
Major events, such as the flooding in September caused by Tropical Storm Lee, bring times of change and uncertainty, according to the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier.
"Even as people move on with their lives, they may find themselves with feelings of loss, sadness and anger about the changes in their lives, vivid memories of the events of that time, and fears about the future," the agency said in a press release. "Sometimes it is helpful to talk about reactions to the flood and the effects it has had -- even when people think they "should be past it."
The help people cope with the past and what lies ahead, Project Renew -- a crisis counseling program -- is coming to Tioga County. Sessions have already been set up for those in Broome County.
Aided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state's Office of Mental Health and MHAST, the program offers discussion and support groups to bring together people who have been affected by the flooding that devastated several towns in Broome and Tioga counties, including Apalachin, Owego, Nichols and Tioga.
The groups offer individuals the opportunity to tell their stories and find ways to cope, according to MHAST.
In some areas, the meetings will be held regularly.
So far, MHAST said, the meetings in Broome County have gone well, with individuals returning week after week. The agency is hoping the same things happened to those in Tioga County.
"We feel confident that our efforts are working," MHAST said.