A Whole Lotta Flood

Mr. Jesse left Broome County approx. a week before the greatest natural disaster in its modern history befel it. The Susquehanna, which may or may not be the largest river east of the Mississippi, the Chenango R., the Delaware R., and every crick, creek, and rivulet from Choconut Creek north of Endicott, to Cayuta Creek in Tioga County- more than overflowed. They flooded areas that people didn't even suspect could be flooded, i.e. northside Johnson City, Lockheed Martin in Owego, Walmart in Vestal(which seems fitting; if only their crimes could be washed away), and The Home Depot in Westover.
Of course the normal spots in Tioga, Broome, and Susquehanna Co.(PA) were annihilated. But what's of immediate interest is that my grandmother's house, girlfriend's house, various friends' houses, and the depot where I work(including 4 of the driver's trucks) are basically destroyed. There are lakes throughout this county covering main roads, neighborhoods, shopping plazas, golf courses, and parks.
Speaking of flooded shopping plazas, I was at Barnes and Noble in Vestal and saw some douchebag in an SUV drive right into a 6 foot deep lake that stretched from the Sam's Club to the book store. The vehicle tilted and the moron scrambled to get out of his car out the window, and when I came back he was sitting on an embankment staring at his new submarine. I hate that guy. Of course the mayor of Johnson City said he'd spoken with Gov. Pataki and that everyone's covered by FEMA, but that's nonsense, most of these people won't get anywhere close to enough to rebuild a home.
But wait, the best part of all this in Johnson City was that there were people coming down from Route 17(Future I80something) and looting people's homes. My mom has a fear of gypsys, that they're going to rob her house because it might have happened to her aunt a few years back. I'm not sure there is a group on the planet that call themselves 'gypsys' though.
My father's friend, took a boat to his porch, then swam to the stairs and sat on his second floor with a shot gun in his lap to protect what was his. I don't know why people would want to steal a bunch of flood refuse; maybe it's just a myth like the gypsys coming to town to steal your shit, or maybe the gypsys broke the dam on I88 when their astrologist/meterologist counterparts discovered that the flooding was going to be a whole lot worse than what was predicted. There still has to be some sort of bigotry in this, so the normal everyday people can regain some sort of notion of power over their lives- so let's go hunt down the gypsys.


Natalie said...

Thanks for writing...I've been trying to think of something to say about the greatest upstate natural disaster to befall us in recent memory, but since it didn't befall me (the east side of the Hudson was only mildly more soggy than normal) there was nothing I could do but look at pictures on pressconnects.com, of all the towns I'd driven through in Delaware County on my way to visit JC and places I'd been once I got there, and say "wow".

Driving home to Syracuse yesterday I'm surprised I didn't get in an accident... instead of keeping an eye on the July 4th traffic, I couldn't keep my eyes off the still-swollen Mohawk, the piles of collected debris at certain points, and the evidence of the high-water line: mud up in trees, what looked like 15 feet off the ground. The receding water left a layer of mud on everything, and to see a line in the trees was especially striking.

Gag Halfrunt said...

I minor thing, Lockheed Martin Owego did NOT flood. Way up there on the hill? pfft, no. The closed the place down wed/thursday because no one could get there.

Jesse said...

The moment I leave home, a terrible flood descends upon it. In an egocentric world, I would think of the symbolism of me finally moving out of my old life and the waters rushing in to cleanse it. Of course, that's egocentric. My mother has been volunteering at the flood relief center and has passed on stories of the terrible effect that these waters have had upon the people: a man shoes up with no shoes and nothing but his shirt and pants to his name (do you even have a name if you have no identification?), a woman's home is filled with 10 barrells of used car oil that her neighbor (a car repair place) never bothered to recycle, her home is now condemned, the list goes on. What will become of the confluence of the Chenango and the Susquehanna? Will this be the final straw for a valley buffeted by job losses, factory closings and brain drain hemmorhage?

Golf Pro said...

They moved the annual Pro Golf Assoc. tourney BC open to Turning Stone Casino up north, there's really no reason for it to move back to broome county since a casino can draw a bigger crowd, more big sponsors, and the course itself is alot nicer than the old enjoie in endicott.