Have you ever thought about the effect a flood could have on you? Do you have neighbors who are flooded out several times a year? Having neighbors down the road is something almost everyone can say. Though, I know most can not say they have neighbors down the road who are in the highest risk of flooding every year. Although they only live down the road they have the risk, we don't. Whatching our neighbors year after year replace everything on the first floor of their homes is heartbreaking. We are just out of the flood plain. It is amazing the difference in risks when you live up the hill. Everyone was getting used to these flood seasons, and adapted. Building their homes on stilts, moving everything across the tracks when the season came. To live near the river means living to the extremes. It was a usual flood season, until September 7.
This past September has been a month of devastation. I live on Sherwood Rd. in Meshoppen.
Wednesday, September 7 we were dismissed from school. Everyone was forced to evacuate on the road below us. Though, some people did not believe it would get as bad as it did. When my dad got home from work we went down and helped people out of there homes. Listening to the radio our one neighbor said it was going to be a replay of Agnes. By eleven-o-clock the river was in most basements. My dad was on his tractor till at least three in the morning dragging vehicles, boats, lawnmowers, and other equipment to the other side of the tracks.
Thursday, September 8 My dad left for work at five-thirty as usual. Knowing most people would be unable to go in due to the flooding. before he left he checked the water levels. The water was almost to the tracks. Around eight-o-clock my dad was told he could go home or be stuck. Living ten minutes from P&G, it took almost an hour to get home on back roads. When he got home the water was over the tracks, and well over the wheels of a Kubota tracker. Rescue boats were out all morning rescuing families who did not take the flood seriously. Wyoming county was under state of emergency.
Friday, September 9 all we could do was watch the river rise, taking out the beach of houses with its significant force, The horrific smell of propane, and gasoline from exploding tanks going down the river was awful. Many of our close neighbors lost their houses to electrical fires. The sound of trees snapping, and houses coming off their foundations versus the furious rush of water in the background.
Saturday, September 10 most of the houses on our block were gone, and the water hit its highest crest. Once it was at its highest crest the water began to go down at a constant rate. Surviving houses were not worth repairing. Most people said they were done with the river; this was where the line was cut.
Finally on Sunday, September 11 the National guard was sent to prevent looting, and help the people who needed food and shelter. The river was receding feet within hours. This natural disaster has caused devastation and emotional discourage to our friends and families. It will forever be remember as an event in history; breaking the record of the 1972 flood, and setting a new one.