Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hope Floated

Like too many people in the United States over the past three or four years, we in the Triple Cities of upstate New York know what it is like to be flooded.  Our flood of September 2011, called "The Flood" here, happened after the rainiest summer on record, capped by two tropical storms several days apart.  The last one dumped about 10 inches of rain on us. 

Our two local rivers cried "Enough" and even neighborhoods not officially in flood zones flooded.

Now, 19 months after the flood that did so much damage to my neighborhood and other neighborhoods in the Triple Cities, I find myself looking back - and trying to look ahead.

I was inspired to do that after noticing the land around the vacated building that, until September 8 and 9 of 2011, was a busy BAE Industries plant employing around 1350 skilled workers in one of the largest wood frame structures in the United States, is fast becoming a garbage dump. We are talking about 34 acres here, some of which fronts Main Street just west of Johnson City, New York.

 I took this photo at a bus stop in front of the building.  BAE had thoughtfully provided a bench for those waiting for the bus.  I don't know who is dumping the garbage, but it is disgusting. I'm pretty sure some of the guilty are bus riders but I think there is a lot of "drive by" dumping going on.  I wouldn't mind picking some of it up so I don't have to stare at it daily, but that would be called "trespassing".

 This building is supposed to be torn down eventually but in the meantime, the county provides security.  Something tells me I will have to fight to get this cleaned up, the way I had to get snow cleaned on the sidewalk the first few times this winter.  Maybe it's time to give the Town official who finally helped me with the snow removal a little ring-a-ding....

So what else is going on in walking distance of where I live?

This was an office of a beloved doctor.  No more.
I don't know if someone is trying to finally rehabilitate this property, but this is what it looked like about two weeks ago (note, some of these pictures are some two weeks old but trust me - nothing much has changed.

Some houses will never be inhabited again.  They are awaiting a Town buyout.  In the meantime, they rot-literally.  I don't know if this is specifically one of the houses that will be razed after the buyout but it is located by a street that will never be fully inhabited again.  Part of my neighborhood, lost forever, peoples lives floating away on a tide of muck and diesel oil.

So many people lost so much.  Up to now, I've had a rule not to take pictures of residential property impacted by the flood.  I've only taken pictures of commercial property- until now.  I apologize if anyone reading this ever lived in this house, because I do not post these to titillate.  I live here, too.

There is one glimmer of hope.  We have lost businesses, including BAE, and including a long-time business that was in this building - Tony B Tire. Ironically, this building never flooded but their customers moved away.  Now, someone is moving into the building.  One can only hope they will be as good a neighbor as Tony B's was.

So many flood stories in this nation.  So many impacted by national disasters. 

Wish us in Westover luck.


  1. Such a sad story Alana, I wonder what is happening to our world!

  2. I hope more businesses continue to move in!

  3. Sad. I have seen first-hand where New Orleans has rebuilt from Katrina. But I have seen the parts of town where very little progress has been made even today. I hope progress continues!

  4. I have seen the good and bad of rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Katrina. I hope progress continues in your area!

  5. This post really brings out the sad reality that happens after mother nature has her say when humanity gets too much.


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