Doing It Himself

By Matt Porter

September 21, 2012 Updated Sep 21, 2012 at 6:24 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) There a few things left in this world for free.

But out in the morning sun on Choconut Creek, Chris Hemmer is spending his time and money helping flood mitigation in Vestal.

"You see the sadness, people that have lived next to me for 70 years," said Hemmer. "I haven't been there that long, and to see them lose everything they worked for, things gotta change."

Hemmer drops in most days to clear brush.

He started out on his own, but has since gotten help from across the community.

"To see people setting aside their differences politically," he said, "To start digging and helping the community. That says a lot to me."

Hemmer's received donated equipment from trailers to chainsaws.

He's impressed Vestal Town Supervisor John Schaffer, although he admits Hemmer moves a little to quickly for the town.

"Chris would like to have everything done yesterday, thank God," said Schaffer. "But, unfortunately that doesn't happen in government."

One thing town officials say anyone can do to help prevent flood waters from rising is to keep creeks clean and free of debris.

"They're not dumps, they're creeks," Schaffer said, "Haul your logs to the dump and your junk."

Hemmer is hauling out everything he can grab.

For him, failure is not an option.

"The only way your gonna get ahead in life is hard work," Hemmer said, "And if you don't, you fail."

Hard work, something Hemmer has plenty left in the tank.

If you want to help Chris Hemmer, you can visit his website, Broome County USA.

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