Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rain or Shine

I made this card using Shower Bugg, a stamp designed by Cristy Croll for Stampng Bella, after a weekend filled with sun, rain and Neighbors helping Neighbors. Let me explain...

We had some more rain this weekend. It was the fear of Greene county after last weekend's Tropical Storm Irene. My husband along with numerous volunteers in and out of state and the National Guard have been manning the emergency operations center and dealing with the cleanup of mountain towns that lost a great deal. They have been working all day, all night to bring some normalcy to these people who have suffered greatly. I made my first trip up on Saturday and saw the creeks that had swelled to massive rivers. They took everything in their path and have left a trail of downed trees, caked clay and mud and everything else they picked up along the way...boats, school buses, cars, timber, house parts and a ton of rocks.

On Sunday I actually went up to the ski resort town of Windham. Much of the town is open to local traffic or relief workers only. That is, what is left of the town. A local group from my hometown called Neighbors helping Neighbors volunteered to do laundry services for the mountaintop folks. It was a free service with the machines, soap and manpower being donated by the Coxsackie neighbors. I volunteered to help by driving up to retrieve dirty bags of clothing while passing out the clean clothes done the night before. What I found was destruction that I could not comprehend. Parts of the roads were swept away and the Transportation crew was working diligently to fill it back in. As the water raged down the culverts in front of people's houses it took the only means of exit from their property with it. Huge ravines were created with cars on one side and the road on the other. In many places the road was reduced to one lane as the workers tried to rebuild what the water took. Once in town I found the bridge with the house that came to rest against it, the school bus that floated down the street, cars that were imbedded into the banks of what was once the creek. Restaurants and shops with blown out windows, doors ripped off and all the contents sitting alongside the street caked with a red clay mud that seemed to be the new ground cover in this once idyllic resort town.

A trip to the actual ski resort had me in shock. The parking lot is now a mess. The water ripped it to shreds as it rushed down the mountain. Beautiful landscaped break walls were blown out. It picked up black top and rippled it so that huge craters were left behind.

The DOT is using the lot across the way to store great amounts of stones that are being used to secure roadways again. An ever present sign on the trip up or down the mountain was construction trucks used to transport the rock up, dump trucks and waste vehicles trying to bring in containers to clear the trash away. As you can imagine, trash is the new problem. Where do you put a mountaintop full of trash and household possessions that have been destroyed. Mold is also a growing concern.

I have a few pictures I've gathered to put this all into perspective for you...

Beth's Cafe in Prattsville, NY. This is the local diner Shaun and I had breakfast at last month on one of our exploration trips on the motorcycle. It was flooded up to the second floor.

Right across the street from that a garage was moved from its foundation where it came to rest on another building and a police cruiser.

A house down the street had the misfortune of being built next to the creek. When the creek flooded it created a new path right under the foundation of the house. The house is for sale...I don't think it's likely that a buyer will come in now.

This was a goreouse Victorian house. It reminded me of a child's doll house that might have been recklessly tossed in the play room. Note that the foundation was destroyed and it is actually leaning forward. To put it into perspective for you, the ground is mid-way to the first floor window.

Power lines held but the telephone poles could not withstand the force of the water. Crews are working nonstop to restore power.

Roads rippled like ribbon candy as the water plowed a new course.

And this was a common scene of roads with broken access.

This home lost its backside to the Batavia Kill, a creek which meandered through Windham, NY.

Cars ended up all over the place.

The Holiday was a means to have numerous volunteers ready to help clear towns. I think it will be some time before all is well here again.

Please keep the victims of Mother Nature in your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks for stopping by.



Tammy Hershberger said...

Wow, those pictures leave me speechless. I can't imagine being able to pick up and carry on after that.... I'd be a blubbering mess.

Almost makes me forget your darling card, Cath... love the depth of color and the great mix of papers!

William said...

Oh, my God, Cath, these pictures are awful... I'm so sorry you guys have to deal with all of this right now, and will be keeping everyone in our prayers! Love to you guys.

Jess-The Whimsical Butterfly said...

Oh my goodness...the devastation is really non-comprehensible until you see the pictures- thank you for posting as i think it really is a good reminder for us to realize how lucky we are!

Your card is stunning. Absolutely stunning.

Dana White said...

Thanks for sharing those pictures - when you were telling me about it I couldn't imagine the damage. As Jess says it reminds us all how lucky we are; here we now have a raging forest fire across the lake - mother nature is in quite the mood this year!

OH and i love your card ;)

Leslie said...

"A picture is worth a 1000 words"....never truer. Yes, a reminder of how lucky we are and how cruel Mother Nature can be - she doesn't choose, she just goes! I'm sure your card will brighten someone's day and I hope the rain has stopped for a while. Take care!

Ebru Vatansever said...

I agree with Leslie, these pictures are certainly worth 1000 words. Just seeing these photos made me run chills up my spine, how unfortunate and devastating to see such misfortune. Keep safe my friend !!

I love your card as well my dear friend !!!

MoniKa said...

Wow Cath, so nice of you to volunteer. Thanks for posting the pictures it really puts it into perspective.

ScrappyLin said...

Cath, your photos are so moving and depict the devastation so well. I can't believe it is the same place we visited and enjoyed in April. Hope Auggie is managing. Love ya!

Tanya said...

Wow...you can never really understand the devestation until you see it. Those pictures are just heart breaking. Thank-you for sharing and thank-you and your husband for all your volunteer work!
I loved your card...love them huggabuggs! You always have such great layouts! Love them!