Thursday, September 15, 2011

My neighborhood and town

 Hello everyone.  I'm back on-line as of late Tues. night.
Officially, we were without a newspaper for 3 days,
power for almost 5 days, mail for 6,
Internet and cable for 7 and phone for 9.
Most of our students went back to school yesterday but we still have one 
elementary school that is closed indefinitely, so until they can gather desks,
chairs, books, supplies etc. for the temporary school those kids are stuck 
at home.  Believe me, this has not been an extended vacation for them.  They 
went to one day of school and then many were evacuated and are now homeless.
Even for my own kids who, on a whole were not affected by the flooding, being 
without power, cable, phone etc. isn't much fun.  We were eating what ever looked 
like it might spoil next in the fridge (cooking on the grill outside).  We lost about 30% of our food. 
I'm not complaining in light of what I'm seeing my friends and co-workers go through.
Just stating the facts. My family and I are working within the community to help out.
My kids and I didn't have to venture off of our street.  We've been helping sanitize what
few items people can salvage, shop vaccing up debris and helping tear out dry wall.
I've made phone calls for the Red Cross tracking down rubber boots for people doing clean up.
My daughter cooked lunches for the firefighters and volunteers one day at the fire station.
Her BFF's brother is a volunteer firefighter so they've practically been living at the station.
We're a tiny community.  No paid firefighters, no police force, no mayor.  Just a lot
of really good people. I want so badly to get back to normal life...working for my school,
my design teams, running my kids to sports etc.  Sports are on hold indefinitely.  My
daughter has started back at dance class.  That made her happy.  To give you an idea
of what we're going through here are some photos.  Some are my personal photos
and some were taken by friends.  I only have one shot of the debris because I refuse
to stand and photograph someone's life on the side of the road.  The photo I have was
taken by my friend of her own pile of rubbish.  Let me tell you.  It looked like ground
zero with the dust flying, dump trucks hauling out heaps of houses and the piles
or debris all around.  The miraculous thing is that as far as I know there was only
one death.  A 95 year old woman passed from hypothermia while she stood in 5 ft.
of water waiting to be rescued.  Just as heartbreaking to me are the lost pets.
There are friends offering rewards to get their pets back and friends who are
taking in stranger's pets, feeding and comforting them while posting "found" ads on
Craig's list. Friday after school I'm going to help organize the clothing
and supply drive at my elem. school.  I just want this to be over.

This was how my day started. (9-7-11)
Got the kids off to school.

I left for work at 8:50.  This is what my driveway looked
like already.

 Yeah...the cones (well, there's supposed to be 3 but
two have already washed away) are from a storm
last May that the town hasn't been able to fix our
damage from yet.

I have no more photos from last Wed.  It was raining too hard to
go out.  My family and I barely made it home from work/school.
We were only 1 of two districts that didn't dismiss at half day and
have taken some flack for it.

These photos are from the next morning during a short break in the rain.
Thursday 9-8-11.
My driveway without so much water.
Notice the ditch is gone.  It's now filled with rocks
that washed down the road.  The pile by the mailbox is
deceiving in the photo.  It's about 4' tall.

The driveway is buckled and has a 3' long, 10" deep pot hole in it.
It will have to be torn out and have a larger pipe put in eventually.

The remaining area is JUST large enough to drive over thank goodness.

We decided to walk down the street to see what damage
neighbors might have.

This is the house across from us.

The rest of these are random shots of neighbors driveways, yards
and businesses.  These are ALL taken on my road or within two streets of
my street.

 Dominick.  This is all water from the creek that I take them
to.  They wade around in two feet of water normally.  The creek is about a quarter
of a mile from here and was about as big as lake Erie at this point.
Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit but not much.
  Blue Dolphin Diner.
 You'd never know it but the highway entrance is under there

 This is directly at the bottom of my road where I normally
get my gas.  They were reopened a couple of days ago somehow.

We usually get water up to our knees in the deepest spots here.

These photos are from the surrounding towns.
Some were taken as we were driving to my Mom's house to
borrow her generator.  Some are photos I "stole" from my friends
on F.B. or that they e-mailed me.

This is the exit you'd take to get to my house.

 Rt. 17  (my exit again)
 Our local mall parking lot.  It's high on a hill.
This is from run-off.
 My sister elem. school.  We have two in our district.

 The hospital.  The parking lot flooded but after the flood of '06 they
built a 7 million flood wall.  Money well spent.  No water got into the
hospital and no one had to be evacuated.

Our Wal-Mart.

 My kids school.

Our Home Depot

Frito Lay trucks.

The sewage treatment plant at the bottom of my road. 

Our neighboring town's finest.  I think this picture
speaks for itself.

This is the house that's directly behind my sister.
Their house sat just high enough that they didn't get water.
This neighbor got 4 feet on their first floor.
 My friend took these at the Price Chopper.
Hey!  What else are you gonna do?

  And...just when you think Mother Nature couldn't get any crueler...
After our depressing walk we came home to find that Mama and the
twins had come for a visit.

It will probably still be a while before I can create and share anything.
I'm anxious to get back in my craft room but my friends need me
right now and I'm SO TIRED and worn out emotionally. 
I hope to see you very soon.


shersl84bed said...

Devestating. Its so weird to imagine this going on in your part of the country, and then Texas not getting any rain at all, and the devestation happening there.

Fluffles said...

These pictures are just heart breaking. The devastation of the rain is so vast. I had no idea your area was hit so badly. Over in the UK it kinda implied that NY escaped - your pics so otherwise. Hope you get back to some sort of normal soon, but it looks like it will take a while. Take care. Jx

Darlene (SCS:akronstamperdpk) said...

Oh my stars ... what a mess! I'm just so glad you & your family are safe! Who would have thought this could happen so far up the east coast! I'm in Ohio and although we had a lot of rain ... nothing like you had! I will pray that the clean up is quick and that you can get some rest. Hang in there my friend ... better days are ahead! Hugs to you!

Jennifer Scull said...

so very glad y'all are okay. just sitting here saying prayers as I look at the photos..... know you have people who are pulling for all of you!

Danie May said...

Renee I am so pleased to hear all is okay for you and your immediate family. It is often hard to imagine such devastation unless you are right there in the middle of it. Incredibly though when times get tough such as in disasters like this the community comes together and you see so much good around you. You find yourself wanting to help whatever way you can. My prayers and thoughts are with you and those in your community. Hang in there and we hope to see you back creating with us soon.

Danie xxx

Guro said...

This looks awfull to leave in, I really hope the water is clearing and that things go back to normal...
Thank you so much for sharing these images, it makes it more "real" for us far away. I am thinking of you and your family.

Loved your Midnight Madness card last week by the way, very stylish!

Hugs Guro

marilynprestonn said...

Renee thank you for sharing all the pictures. I gives us a real look at what is going on. Sometimes we get desensitize of so much news. I hope you and your friends find all the strenght to pull through this ordeal. Will be looking in to see how you all are doing.

Kindly, Peggy
God bless you!xo

Priscilla said...

Hi Renee, I just saw all of your pictures...WOW...I am speechless. I am however so glad you and your family are safe. {{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}