If there were a Hall of Fame for those Riverhead residents who best exemplify Jesus’ commandment ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ folks like Linda Hobson, Shirley Coverdale and Riverhead High School junior Drew Achilich would be shoo-ins. (See story on their efforts, page 3.)
A lot has happened since massive flooding in late March chased more than a dozen families on Horton and Osborn avenues from their homes, with seven still unable to return. But one thing has remained constant since the storm, the resolve of these three people — with Ms. Hobson herself displaced from her Horton Avenue home — to help, and get help for, the families struggling to recover.
Businesses including H2M of Melville and Blackman Plumbing in Riverhead, state Assemblyman Marc Alessi and the town’s political parties also have helped by raising or donating money for flood victims. They should be commended, too.
Our locally elected officials have been doing what they do best in situations such as these, with their vocal efforts to get government help for displaced families. The politicians’ work may pay off eventually, possibly with big money to pay for elevating or relocating homes from the Horton and Osborn flood zone.
But in the meantime, displaced adults and children alike are facing long, hot, uncertain and uncomfortable months ahead. It’s clear they’ll have to continue to rely on themselves and the Riverhead community.
So buy a Horton Avenue T-shirt. They’re actually pretty sharp and they’re becoming available at more and more stores in Riverhead, thanks to Drew’s efforts. Or write a check for any amount to the First Baptist Church of Riverhead Horton Avenue Flood Fund. Donations can be mailed to First Baptist Church of Riverhead, c/o Horton Avenue Flood Fund, 1018 Northville Tpke., Riverhead, NY 11901-1719.
As young Drew told us of helping people, “It’s the greatest feeling in the world.”