Local dairy farm back up and running after flash flooding cut off supply

TOWN OF BENNINGTON, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Mezydlos have farmed off French Road in the Town of Bennington for nearly 20 years, making their living selling organic milk to local co-ops. But on July 13, flash flooding washed away their driveway, cutting off their supply and their livelihood.

The whoosh of an arriving milk truck was a welcome sign for Dustin and Daniel Mezydlo Tuesday morning. It was the first time since July 13 they’ve been able to sell their milk.
That day, a devastating flash flood tore a hole in their driveway, the only way in or out.
“At about 8:30 it started raining that morning, and we came down and checked this at 10:30 or 11 o’clock and the water was coming up,” Dustin said. “And then we came down a half hour later and it had breached the driveway and it was going over.”
The torrent kept up for hours, washing away the land around their driveway and flooding nearby storage buildings.
“We didn’t know what to do,” Dustin said. “I mean, your heart just sinks. This is the only way in and out. We didn’t even know who to call. It just gets to a point where you don’t know what to do, just sit down and wait for it to stop.”
They were trapped, and so was their sitting shipment of about $1,000 of fresh organic milk. In fact, they had to milk their cows, and dump $1,000 down the drain, every other day for three weeks.
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Flooding has happened here before, but never to this extent, the Mezydlos said. And though help could be on the way for residents like them, it’s rare they can even get a question answered, let alone funding.
“Everybody says it’s out of your jurisdiction, and passes you on to another number, Dustin said. “And you never get anywhere. Nobody comes out, nobody returns calls, they wish you the best of luck and hang up the phone.”
Sen. Patrick Gallivan, along with other legislators across WNY, are pleading with the governor to release state funds, to help Erie and Wyoming counties clean up the damage left behind by tornadoes and flash flooding. The letter is co-signed by Assemblymen Sean Ryan and David DiPietro, as well as Sens. Mickey Kearns and Christopher Jacobs.
“In many cases, repair costs will exceed municipal budgets for road repair,” Gallivan wrote. “Dozens of homes and businesses were also flooded, with some reporting 2-6 feet of water inside their buildings.”
As one example, French Road is cut off less than a mile from the Mezydlos farm as a result of a creek washing out a culvert. French Road was just repaved this summer.
“We definitely could use a little help,” Daniel said. “I mean this would prevent them from fixing that road over there, because the water from here ended up wrecking that road there. It’s actually kind of a win-win situation for the town, the county and us too, hopefully.”

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