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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:06 AM
Original message
On the Water Front .....


I live near the intersection of Delaware, Chenango, and Otsego counties in rural, upstate New York. The area has been devastated by this week's flooding. My family and I are fine. We live at a high elevation compared to most people in our area. I have the old railroad elevation charts from the area; our house is at about 1600 feet, which is more than 600 feet above near-by Sidney. Here is a shot from the old turnpike that is actually part of my driveway.



The view in the photo is in the direction of Sidney, NY. It was there that the Carr's Creek washed out a section of I-88. Two truckdrivers were killed here. These photos came from other area residents.





The flooding is beyond anything that I have seen in my lifetime. I've checked the records I have (again, from old railroad records, etc) and the flooding was greater here than any of the huge springtime floods that I've found. I have photos of the "great flood" of 1913, and descriptions of earlier ones.

Two of my siblings and three of my best friends were evacuated from their homes. Several of our friends in the Bainbridge - Afton area are still isolated. We have a teenager who was homeless living with us now. (She had her GED postponed! She will take it next week, and college in the fall.) Her elderly grangfather was trapped in Afton. There was nothing we could do. The "linked" article shows that a state senator couldn't get in to see people there.


http://pressconnects.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200...

My sons took a 26-mile bike ride yesterday. They took some photos:








The second picture is the Amphenol plant. The underwater parking lot is a NYS superfund site. The numerous barrels of toxic waste that were previously stored near this gate had reportedly floated downstream two days ago.

In 1993, a rain storm resulted in a site which is "officially" two US Superfund Sites (Sidney Landfill and Richardson Hill) leaking chemical wastes into two small lakes. It is an interesting site: one lake leads to the Delaware River, while the other, just 1/4 mile away, leads to the Susquehanna River. That storm led to every fish in the Sidney Center water reservoir dying in 12 hours. (See: page 100,556 of EPA report per Richardson Hill; "Preliminary Report on Wildlife Kill Investigation North and South Ponds," June 30, 1993) I imagine that more than water floated downstream in the past week.

It's a strange time around here.




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novalib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. OMG!
Good to hear that you and your family are all fine.

But -- OMG! -- barrels of toxic waste floating downstream!

PLEASE be very careful!!!
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thank you.
The roads are open now. My older son and wife were able to go to work. My wife is one of the people in charge of the regional response for mental health services. I don't think she has gotten much sleep in the past two days, although she was only able to do things over the phone.

Here are a couple shots from the site of a mill that dated back to the Revolutionary War. The stonework was done in the summer of 1820. The first photo was taken in the late 1800s; the second was from Wednesday.




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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. Glad to hear you're okay
I knew you lived upstate NY somewhere, so I was wondering if you were near this mess. Obviously you are. If there's anything DU can do let us know. I've got tons of dud t-shirts if anyone needs cloths.

DYEW
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Thank you!
We have had a little damage here. I don't think it's beyond $5000. But it's nothing. I'm thankful that everyone here is safe. We have food .... though I am reminded of the meals from my college days.

A lot of my neighbors have huge gaps between what is left of their driveway, and the roads. The closer one gets to a community, the more severe the damage.

We live near a couple tiny hamlets, where the Jeffersonian community values are strong. I feel terrible for the local farmers -- crops that are even in the fields in the hills have been washed away. The river flats must be gone. Even a lot of trees were damaged and destroyed. Large trees were uprooted. I couldn't begin to count the number of trees here that had the bark stripped right off them, going a good 4 to 5 feet up. Unreal.

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. I spoke with a sibbling in Binghamton
Edited on Fri Jun-30-06 07:55 AM by malaise
yesterday. She and her hubby were fine at home, but they had never seen anything like that in the city.

That's a lot of water in your part of the state.

Edit -add.
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stop the bleeding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. picts 3 and 4 are simply amazing
Nature is so powerful,

The Susquehanna River full of toxins, that is just peachy....


Glad to hear people are doing ok up there, I heard today on NPR that the US Gov. has less than half of the 2500 Nat. Guard troops that Bush wanted by 07/01/06 for border security. One of the reasons sited by the states as to why there isn't any is because they are already thin(Iraq War) and the NG is needed for disasters such as what is going in the North East.

Take care and as always looking forward to another essay :)

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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
5. Glad you're ok.
:hi:

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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. I wasn't sure where you were until you mentioned the amphenol plant.
First, I am glad you & the family are safe. The destruction is awesome, did it extend to the Sytracuse area as well?
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. I think that the Utica
area suffered greater damage than Syracuse .... I know that Little Falls, which is a little beyond Herkimer, has been in the news. The NYS Thruway was closed there.
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. I know Little Falls well, I lived upstate for a decade.
Back when I was involved with the darkside at GE.

I have friends in Little Falls, I will make some calls today. Thank you for that information. Take care of yourself & be safe, Patrick.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Land of the
"Herkimer Diamond"!

I lived in Herkimer years ago. Did an article on Lou Ambers for a boxing magazine. Beautiful area.
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ms liberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
7. I'm glad you and your family are OK up there...
thanks for letting us know! I've been concerned for the people who are suffering this awful weather; particularly our DU'ers in the affected areas. We got a lot of rain from that same front (which we needed quite badly) but nothing like what ya'll have endured. Unfortunately, due to the whole climate crisis/global warming issue we'll probably be seeing these kinds of events for a long time - probably at least for the rest of my lifetime.
I saw An Inconvenient Truth last weekend - not new information by any means, but it's put together so well that it reinforces that background knowledge. Of course I saw it for the Al Gore part, not the depressing verification that we're going to hell in a handbasket without immediate real and meaningful change.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Walls & Bridges ...
Must be the Lennon thread is influencing me now .... could be the lack of sleep, too ...

It is difficult for folks to travel now, because of the number of bridges that were "washed out." We can't get near the stores we usually shop at. I had to drive around the "Road Closed!" signs to get to a small store, which was out of everything like bread, milk, and water.

Here are a few shots of my younger son. watching the water flow at a couple bridges that are still safe to pass over.



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ms liberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. That looks frightening and dangerous...
and on a completely different note, it's amazing how similar your landscape is to my own here in the NC foothills. So beautiful...
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
14. The falls here
went from this:




to this in 36 hours:

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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. amazing pictures, thanks for sharing
glad you and family are ok
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WePurrsevere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
15. Unbelievable. My DH & have both driven down I-88 more times then we can
think of over the years since it was built so we have a pretty good idea of where that wash out is. I'm so glad to hear that you and yours are safe and sound amongst the devestation.

Do those streams empty into the Mohawk, one of the Finger Lakes or other? I'm concerned about where the toxins are heading. You mentioned Little Falls and Herkimer being in the news (two towns I used to know pretty well)... I'll have to Google to see what's happening there since we don't get local news worth pickles.

Having grown up and lived most of our life around the Capital District we now live up on the Canadian Border a couple of miles from the St. Lawrence Seaway. We have gotten a LOT of rain and many of the farmers fields are muddy at best. The St. Lawrence is extremely high as is the brook we can see from our front porch (there have been Flood Warnings almost steady lately). As much rain as we've had though I know that it's not nearly as much as my eldest daughter, who lives just one hour from us, or my parents, who live even further south in the Schenectady area, have had.

We will keep you and yours and that whole are in our thoughts... stay safe and dry.
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Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 08:31 AM
Response to Original message
16. Be Safe - Water has its treacherous side
It can change its mood in a moment's notice.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. Water ....


The water seen here moved an enormous concrete abutment from the Midland Railroad, put in place in 1869-70. It carried it away. I have no idea where it is now.
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
18. Amazing
"The numerous barrels of toxic waste that were previously stored near this gate had reportedly floated downstream two days ago."

:grr:
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. A local DJ went
on a boat ride with local police. He described the area as smelling like fuel.

The earth is interesting. I have shown kids something that I learned long ago. If you dig hole and bury a tire, and then set a good-sized stone near it, within two years the tire is on the ground, and the rock is going under. The earth rejects that which is un-natural, and absorbs that which is natural. I think a lot of un-natural things were spit out in the past 72 hours. I feel sad that it has gone downstream to the next communities.
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MorningGlow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
20. Wow...
That's incredible, H2O Man. Glad you're okay. That area is near and dear to my heart--I went to undergrad in Oneonta. I was worried about you folks "downstate".
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-30-06 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
22. There is one
in every crowd ..... my younger son posing at the falls ....

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