Some of you may or may not already know, but yesterday began a new chapter for our family.
Remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped torrents of rain upon an already saturated ground near our home in Upstate New York. Although our street has flooded from time to time,it has never been to this extent. We have never seen water in our basement since we bought the house in 2009.
I was home alone when the flooding began and tried to move everything in the basement away from the rising water and onto pallets. I also started the sump pumps, but could only get one to work. I thought I had done the best I could and went back upstairs to keep an eye on the street and on the news.
At approximately 2pm, I went back downstairs to check on the progress of the water and was shocked to find it above my shins and almost to my knees. I realized the pallets were useless and water was coming in faster than the pumps could handle.
By that time, one of our residents, Shayne, had returned home to his apartment and my husband was on his way to assess the situation. Waist deep water and two new burnt out portable sump pumps later, we realized the water level was not going down. It was time to get our stuff out of there.
My husband, Joseph, had to return to work (breaking news never stops for a videographer), so I helped Shayne pull out his boxes from the basement, but only had time to grab a few items of our own. The water levels continued to rise and with it, covered many of my husband’s power tools, our lawn mower, furnace, and hot water heater, to name a few.
Water was surrounding the house like an island and many of our neighbors had already begun to evacuate, I packed an overnight bag while Joseph came to pick me up and we headed over to my parents. Our residents came soon after that (so glad my parents had an extra bed!), and we tried to sleep. It was a restless night.
This morning, Shayne headed over to the house to find the water about a foot away from hitting the first floor and rising an inch every one to two hours. His wife and I started out later to grab some more items, including the perishables that were slowly going bad due to NYSEG shutting off our power.
The water was chest deep on the sidewalk, freezing cold, and smelled awful, but we waded through, determined to gather much needed supplies before it was too late. I also discovered that my car was completely destroyed, as I had no way to drive it through a 1-2 feet high roadway earlier in the day.
When we left, the water level was 6-7 inches from the first floor. We had done what we could, now it was time to wait for the water to rise, yet again, or recede.
1. We have been so blessed with friends and family who have covered us with their prayers.
Today, the weather was predicted to rain ALL day. The radar displayed an aura of green splotches over our area, and skies were grey and overcast. But it didn’t rain. Not one single drop from above to add to our flood waters. Praise God.
2. We have places to stay.
There are about 8-10 shelters in the area, full of devastated residents, but we have had family welcome us with open doors and arms.
1. The city’s flood wall will not collapse.
The water is already leaking through the walls downtown and is expected to crest later tonight. This could create a worse flooding situation.
2. The water level will not reach our first floor.
It’s bad enough that our basement and supplies down there are damaged, but if the first floor takes on water, we could be looking at a whole list of additional expenses, not to mention displacing our residents.
3. The president will declare our county a disaster area.
Governor Cuomo has petitioned on our behalf, and if he is successful, we may be eligible for some much needed financial assistance.
As a result of this tragedy, I am taking tomorrow and the whole next week off from blogging. I may be around on Facebook or Twitter occasionally, but my focus needs to be on our recovery efforts. I have a huge to-do list when we are allowed back into our home! Thank you for understanding.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers – they are working. I am continually reminded of God’s goodness.
Update 9/10/11: All three prayer requests have been answered with a resounding “yes”! Praise God!