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Volunteers help cleanup Felton Grove neighborhood

FELTON, Calif. (KION-TV)- Volunteers in Santa Cruz County came out on Thursday to help clean up the Felton Grove neighborhood.

It was one of the hardest-hit areas during the winter storms.

Volunteers met at Covered Bridge Park Thursday afternoon. The Felton Grove neighborhood is just one of several spots receiving help.

A few weeks ago, the high San Lorenzo river levels flooded part of Orengo’s backyard. but a team of volunteers came to help remove trash and debris. 

“I believe that if I have the privilege to be safe in my own house, it is my duty to help other people,” said Aryan Ohri. “If other people need my help, I know they would do the same for me. With volunteer efforts, hopefully, we can alleviate that trouble a little bit.”  

Ohri is one of those volunteers. He and several others helped remove debris and trash from the oregano's once-flooded backyard. 

“I had the time on my hands, and I thought I might as well use it to volunteer,” said Ohri. “I got an email last night that said urgent ‘Volunteers required for the Felton flood clean up’. I thought I could volunteer in my free time.”

As volunteers help with clean-up efforts, Santa Cruz county said it's been getting a lot of help on both the state and local levels.

“The state and federal assistance coming through the federal Major Disaster declaration have been a great help to the community,” said Jason Hoppin, the Communications Manager with Santa Cruz County. “They actually increased the federal share of Category A and B funding which is for emergency clean up and debris removal.” 

The Recovery Centers also have been a big help. The county said more than 1000 thousand people have already signed up for disaster help.

“There's a lot of people from FEMA here, there's a lot of people from CAL OES here,” said Hoppin. “A lot of people from state agencies here are dedicated to disaster recovery.

With the county partnering with other agencies, the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center is also working with other groups on the Central Coast. 

“The volunteer effort for the homeowners just really helps with them getting back on their feet,” said Christina Thurston with the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center.

Thurston said they're still looking for volunteers. The Santa Cruz Volunteer Center will be back in Felton Grove Friday, January 27. They will also be doing a cleanup in Paradise Park on Saturday, January 28.

The Volunteer Center also adds people who need home cleanup help can call: 844-965-1386 through January 27. There, people will be able to connect with volunteers assisting with cutting fallen trees, removing drywall and flooring, tarping roofs, and mitigating mold. 

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Ana Torrea

Weekend Anchor/Reporter for KION News Channel 5/46


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