NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) – Nearly a week after floodwaters crested, the cleanup efforts have begun in New Albany.

Sunday afternoon, more than 200 volunteers with gloves and boots grabbed sticks, branches and any debris they could from the river’s edge near the Riverfront Amphitheater.

Large piles were created along the sidewalk with the help of wheelbarrows and even pickup trucks.

“There will probably be a bunch of germs and bacteria and different viruses that could get into the land and stuff so we don’t want children who would play on the playground have to play in mulch that could get them sick,” said elementary student Tara Srinivasan, who was helping clean up with her friend Mary.

The area looked more like it had been hit by a tornado rather than a flood. Giant trees and limps were wedged between railings and covered the sidewalks. Much of the grass now covered in several inches of mud.

New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan told WDRB News people were calling even before the water crested asking about helping during cleanup.

“We are very fortunate for a flood this size there was very minimal damage in New Albany so we’re really lucky,” Gahan said.

New Albany Police blocked off Sixth Street and Water Street so the volunteers could move their wheelbarrows around and shovel mud.

Many of the volunteers were with their families and young children. Even children has young as five years old were carrying small twigs to the nearby piles.

“So we have done lots of sticks, lots of wood, we are picking up off the banks. A lot of trash so lots of little pieces here and there,” said Breanna Epperson, who helped out at the park with her husband and their 7-year-old twins. Epperson often goes to the park with her family and wanted to help in any way she could. 

“(The city) does so much for us and we like to show our kids that’s it’s good to just do something because you can. You don’t have to get anything back out of it,” Epperson said.

The piles of debris along the river will be picked up on Monday.

The Mayor says no other official cleanup days are planned.

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