Flooding Facebook

By Cristina Frank

September 7, 2012 Updated Sep 7, 2012 at 8:42 AM EDT

GREENE, NY (WBNG Binghamton) - When it came to getting information during the storms many relied on social media.

From Facebook to Twitter to emails, it was a way to pass on critical needs and news of what was happening.

Action News' Cristina Frank takes a look at one group who used social networking to help its community recover.

"As I'm watching what happened after Irene and following this storm that's barreling towards us...I'm thinking, we're going to have to do something," Sharon Frederick says.

That something started with one post...

"I created a page, it was Greene, New York, Flood of 2011 - how can I help you? Tthrew a card table in front of my office, put a gallon of cleaning product on it - and over 24 hours, I had more than 100 people following and cleaning products just started to show up," Frederick says.

In 48 hours, Frederick's facebook page grew from that 100 - to nearly 400.

Focusing on flood recovery, people from all over the community and even around the country - started sending mops, gloves - even cash.

Requests came pouring in things for anything ranging from paper towels to man power to help move stuff out of flooded houses.

Frederick says she started going around door to door dropping off buckets-worth of supplies.

"We would ask, what do you need, put it on facebook and we would get it. And the response was overwhelming. It literally brought a lot of us to tears."

"We had people who literally could not get, in any community, from one side of the river to the other side of the river. Letting people know what was open, what was closed, what shelters were open, what shelters were closing, how fast the water was rising in certain areas - everybody was glued to facebook. Everybody was glued to social media," Flood Fest Greee Committee Member Wess Van Voorhis said.

In just 3 weeks, another group on social media, Flood Fest Greene, put together an event that raised nearly $25,000 in flood relief.

"And then everyone grabbing onto those particular things and and sending them out on their facebook page - literally, it just multiples like a virus and this time, a good way," Van Voorhis said.

In January, Frederick deleted her page - saying it was time to move forward.

Flood Fest Greene's page is still up and running, but now as a community bulletin-board.

But if the waters start to rise again...

"We live near the river. We all live with rivers around us, it's where we grew up. These things will happen again at some point.We now have a basic blueprint. And I'll tell you what: social networking thing, I'm all for it. It worked great."

Flood Fest Greene says even a year later it continues working with victims who need help.

Right now, the page still has nearly 450 active members.

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