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Flood of 2011 Experiences In a Nutshell

Ladies and gentlemen, like many families along the Susquehanna Valley, our clan experienced a lot of displacement, loss, and discomfort as a result of the five feet of water in our basement.

But challenges like the flood are just a test, a test of our abilities, our faith, our ability to be a good neighbor, and our friendships.

It also tests whether or not businesses are willing to be good neighbors, or if they try to take advantage of people who are vulnerable and needy.

Here are some kudos that came out of our experience, turning the lemons into lemonade:

***Big thank you-s to Ed, Dominic, and Devon, friends who over-rode my last-minute living-in-denial mentality and simply showed up, despite my protests, and helped our family carry hundreds of pounds of things out of the basement and up to the first floor, and then from the first floor to the second, as the flood warnings changed hourly. Just in time. Without their muscle and hard work, our personal and financial losses would have been much higher.

***Big thank you to long-time friend Mark Brodsky, who selflessly dropped off a huge generator on my front porch on Friday morning, which kept the sump pumps going long after the electricity had been turned off in our city.

***Big thank you to Mark Woodland, an amazing friend and neighbor, who helped me set up sump pump after sump pump in our basement, despite the late hours, the gross water, and the hard work.  Mark is a gifted technician of anything involving mechanics.  Without Mark, I likely would have ended up with the pump hoses circling back into the house.

***Thanks to Rabbi Ron Muroff who descended like an angel to help out himself and then with other volunteers (thanks, Judge Solomon et. al.) when we needed help most.  We are not members of his house of worship, but we will be making a donation to it.

***Thanks to neighbors Steve and Dick for helping with the sump pumps and generator when I was running helter-skelter.

***Thanks to the Harrisburg City Police for putting in long hours chasing down would-be looters in our neighborhood, putting up with ridiculous answers from these guys, and for bringing comfort to me when our neighborhood was dark, abandoned, and completely vulnerable to break-ins and looting.  Officer Bobby Yost, call any time for a BBQ in our back yard.  You earned it, buddy.

***Thanks to the two very likeable Allstate adjustors, Tim and Paul, for treating us fairly and kindly. These two suuthin good ol’ boys from Louisiana are hunters, fishermen, even-keeled, and really all-American in all respects. We enjoyed their company as well as their hard work to ensure that we were treated fairly. Hey, fellow Central Pennsylvanians, these guys from the bayous are our kind of people. If you desire a vacation in a very different part of the nation but still want to feel at home, I think we can safely recommend coastal Louisiana.

***Thanks to FEMA for helping so many of our communities. We pay our taxes for this kind of service, and it’s nice to see our government provide service with alacrity and a smile. James Ferguson, our guest FEMA employee (well, a contractor) all the way from Tacoma, had an easy, caring way, and a hard work ethic.

***Thanks big time to our US Mail carrier, John, who stopped briefly to talk with me on Friday, September 9th, to strategize about the best paths for him to take to various neighborhood homes under feet of muddy water. Yeah, we know that the US Mail folks are under the gun in so many ways, but John delivered our mail despite encountering conditions that he could have easily walked away from.

***Thanks to Todd at Rainbow Cleaning. Although he made money, Todd also helped us above and beyond the call of duty. Without his dozen airplane-prop – sized fans and two industrial dehumidifiers for almost two weeks, our basement would have never really dried out. Todd provided good advice, too.

***Thanks to my parents and to the Family Boss, Viv, for keeping us all on the straight and narrow despite the strong urges I often felt to run screaming in circles.


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