Friday, September 9, 2016

Throwback Friday - Why Remember? September 9, 2011

Memories...

An eyewitness (sort of) account of a major flood continues, with its immediate aftermath.  On September 7-8, torrential rains from Tropical Storm Lee, following the wettest year on record, cause record flooding.

And meanwhile, my spouse and I were seven hours away, and helpless to do anything to help our son,who had escaped his own flooding trailer and took refuge in our house.

The post of September 9, 2011 covers when the flood waters start to recede and it becomes apparent this is no ordinary flood.  At this point, we still couldn't get home.

You may ask: why these lookbacks?  Well, in some ways, I am still recovering mentally from this flood, and it does help me to know where I've been (and where we are now).

On September 9, 2011, I remember walking through Maine, where we were vacationing, with my mind half shut off, almost like I was in a waking dream.  I remember browsing in a store, with a salesperson following me around and I felt totally disconnected from the world.

One thing I would highly recommend if you are in a disaster: don't hesitate to seek counseling if you continue to be depressed months later or if certain events that never bothered you "set you off" (like hearing heavy rain fall making you fearful).  We were fortunate enough to have free counseling offered to us and other residents of our neighborhood (although it was months after the event) and, although I didn't take advantage of it, I certainly would have if I was less far along in my mental recovery.

It took a good year, though, to really recover mentally, and it feels good to be able to relive these days now more as a memoir and feeling "hey, we survived this!"

Here's the post:

Floodwaters Receding and Leaving to - Where?

Our son is still trapped in our evacuated neighborhood (he refused to leave) in the Binghamton area but the flood waters are receding and the water in our basement has mostly drained, leaving a slight diesel smell. Our neighborhood suffered a diesel breech and all the streets are coated in diesel.  Yuck. 

Our entire town in upstate New York is still under a boil water advisory. We will bring some bottled water and cleaning supplies home.  Tomorrow our son will let us know if he can get out.  If he can, we will be coming home from the state of Maine, about 7 1/2 hours away.  If he can't we will be heading to the relative who evacuated to our area two weeks ago.*  How ironic.

We, of course, have no idea what to expect.  And our area still doesn't know the full extent of damage either.  What a terrible next few days it will be.

I will hopefully be able to post an update tomorrow.  If not...well my string of daily posts since late in April will end.  So be it.

More tomorrow-hopefully from the Binghamton area.

*A relative in our area took in in a family member who was in the path of another tropical storm - Tropical Storm Irene.

11 comments:

  1. I remember this day 5 years ago- for entirely different reasons. Gald this did not leave deeply traumatic resonance in your being.

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    1. I am grateful, too, although I know I still have remnants of PTSD. I may never enjoy the sound of hard rain again. I used to love it.

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  2. Really sad reading about the floods. But the good thing is you survived.Thank God. Stay blessed.

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  3. I can certainly see why you encourage counseling. This was clearly a traumatic experience for you all.

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    1. It is traumatic, especially after the initial shock wears off. I feel for all those in natural disasters. Many suffer worse than I did.

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  4. I'm so glad you can look back on this as memoir and not as trauma. It was probably worse not being there and not knowing.

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    1. In some ways, Liz, I think it was worse. And I even had a neighbor say something, weeks later, along the lines of I wasn't there for the actual flood, so it was like I really wasn't a part of their experience...it really hurt.

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  5. Thanks for sharing- the message of never being too proud to see help is an important one :)

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    1. Asking for help is so hard. You can't imagine until it happens. But there is no shame in asking for help. No shame.

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  6. It's nice to see you take it as a memoir and not a trauma. For a lot of us it is still a traumatic thing that we witnessed in life. I was in school when this took place and we saw it on CNN and I still can't forget those visuals. Prayers with everyone.
    Regards
    Tina

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