Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hello friends. So sorry for my radio silence lately. Our community was hit hard by Hurricane Irene, only a few days after a freak earthquake hit the Capital Region. While we did suffer some damage, we were incredibly lucky. Many of our neighboring towns were severely flooded or washed away altogether. The news and images are just devastating, and to be honest, I've been having a hard time pulling myself together enough to blog about it. At our farm, we were without power for several days (which I actually don't mind. The problem is that we have a well for our water source, which means that we can't run the water pump to get water if we have no power). But again, we were lucky. Power went out on Sunday, and there are still several thousands of people in our area whose service has not been restored. Both my camera and my Blackberry were flooded by Irene, but I was able to snap a few early pictures before they both died on me.

We had several trees fall, including these Locusts 

Some trees were snapped in half

The apple orchard received the most wind damage. Entire trees uprooted. Other
trees were split in threes. So sad

The little creek in the barnyard became a lake

This is just behind the barn  

The middle Locust tree lining our road will have to be removed.
Look how much the wind knocked it over

These were all the pictures I managed to capture. The last one was the next morning, after the storm had passed, just before my camera died. We had some water damage in the house (the basement was flooded pretty bad) and my garden is all but kaput. I'm sure many of your will roll your eyes at that garden comment, but it is our food for the year. Tomatoes have burst and are rotting on the vine. Same goes for the pumpkins, squash and melons. Too much moisture. Our little town was evacuated due to flooding. Those that live in town are continuously reminded to boil their water. With not having water ourselves, Dave thought it would be best if I took the kids to my parents' house. What usually is a two hour drive took 10 hours instead. All roads leading out of town were closed, except for one back road. Edie, Eric and I came back yesterday to see all the damage first-hand. But again, we are lucky. Our house still stands. Most of our possessions are intact. Our family is safe. While we can afford to supplement our garden with items purchased at the market, many people cannot. Many people in my community have lost everything, including their homes, farms, livestock, family, and way of life. I just heard about a farmer who had to bury several cows and lost 80% of her corn crop. She's not sure if she can survive the winter as a farmer. Wet hay is combusting in barns, causing fires and further damage. Here are a few pictures of the damages from around the region:

From the Times Union

A farm vehicle collected a snow mobile and a harvest container as it sits in a corn field leveled by flood waters in Middleburg, N.Y. Aug. 29, 2011.   (Skip Dickstein / Times Union) Photo: SKIP DICKSTEIN / 2011
After the water receded, from the Times Union

Damage is everywhere in Middleburg, N.Y. Aug. 29, 2011.   (Skip Dickstein / Times Union) Photo: SKIP DICKSTEIN / 2011
Middleburgh, NY - A neighboring town (from the Times Union)

A large fish lies on Main Street in Schoharie, N.Y. after the flood hit the area  N.Y. Aug. 29, 2011.   (Skip Dickstein / Times Union) Photo: SKIP DICKSTEIN / 2011
From the Times Union

These problems aren't just isolated to my neck of the woods. Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Jersey have all experienced substantial flooding. Damage is purported in the $10 billion range (one of the top ten costliest disasters in US history). Milk and produce prices will surely spike because of the damage. New York City might start to feel the effects on its water supply (Watershed Post has done a tremendous job posting on the storm and aftermath. Click here for an aerial view of the damage).

Many thanks to all the crews, first responders and National Guard personnel that have been working tirelessly to bring our community back to life. I plan on helping some local farms this Labor Day weekend with clean-up efforts. If you can, please help my little rural community, who so desperately needs it. These aren't cities with large coffers of emergency funds. These are small farming towns that work day-in, day-out to provide your family with the food you consume every day. Please think of them.

Ways you can help:

Help hard-hit Schoharie County farms by donating to the Schoharie County Community Action Program.

Labor for your neighbor!

Buy a book for a child who lost theirs

Purchase a window sign from your local Price Chopper

Donate $10 to the Salvation Army to help in recovery effort by text STORM to 80888

Buy local! (Shop at Farmers Markets or encourage your local grocer to stock shelves with local items and produce)

Contribute to the Regional Farm and Food Project

Thank you for any small way you can help, friends! Sending all the best your way, and keeping my fingers crossed you never get hit by disaster.


PoetessWug said...

:-( I have been doing blog posts about the damage the storm has caused off and on since the hurricane hit. I can hardly believe how devastating it actually has been! I'm embarrassed to say that I thought it hadn't been as bad as expected because our area...which was suppose to be directly in it's path...didn't hardly even get any wind. We got rain, but not like many towns around the area. :-( I'm so sorry for all of the stress and trouble people are suffering. I do know things will get better. And I look forward to the time in the near future when all such things will be a distant memory...In the meantime I'm sending good thoughts to you and all of the families suffering through this time. :-(

Ashley said...

How absolutely devastating, Deanna. I'm so sorry to hear about the community as well as your property. You were just telling me about the tomatoes the other day, too. So sorry. Sending best wishes to all.

Daryl at Vermont Cottage said...

We are an absolute mess in our town as well. Isn't that sad when you hear about cows going down river? I am happy to see you are all well. We had little damage, but friends lost half their home and are living with us, so I've been pretty engulfed in their ordeal for the past week.
Here's hoping for a lovely fall and PLEASE moderate winter :).

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

Hi Ladies, thank you so much for your thoughts and comments. We are being pounded by rain again today - our barnyard is flooded once again, and there are some voluntary evacuation orders in place. Sad. Keep your fingers crossed for sunshine soon! Hope all is well where you are.