Sunday, August 28, 2011

"The Wrath of Irene" ~~ Kerry Jones, Wallkill, New York

Starting this morning at 8:52 am, in between mopping and sandbagging, Kerry Jones of Wallkill, NY has been "blogging" the ongoing saga of her family's closeup & personal experience with the winds and water of Hurricane Irene. She posted the closing chapter to the SB-L just a little while ago. Unfortunately, it sounds as though it will be quite some time before Kerry's family can write the closing chapter to all the damage that was done to their home by Irene, but in the meantime, I think you will find her account very inspirational.      VZ 

     It is now 8:52 AM. We have been up since 2:00A.M. We have trees down all over, one on the side of the barn and across our lane and torrential rains. Since we live on the side of a mountain, the water is gushing around the side into the back of my house, where it’s pooling. I myself have never experienced a hurricane; it is a very scary experience. The wind was so fierce that I could barely walk early this A.M. when I stepped outside. Debris filled the air and you could smell almost a fresh smell of ocean air. The temp dropped what felt like 15 degrees. It is back now to humid. The trees were bent in half from the wind. Our main phones are out and we did lose power for a short time. Thankfully we have a generator. Our upstairs is OK, BUT the downstairs of our home is 1 foot underwater. Thankfully all of our dogs sleep with us at night upstairs because our dog room where they eat is flooded and all of the crates are 1 foot under water, all of our crate pads floating. We have lost quite a few things, of course. I just went to Pet Smart and bought 8 bags of Purina Pro Plan. Fran's room (my mother in law) is under water and my son's room as well, so we have lots of damage and lost memories and personal items! What a mess! When things like this happen, it puts life into perspective. Every day is a gift and you never know what tomorrow will bring, and that all of the material stuff and ribbons in the world are not important.  It is those we love and our health that is everything! We had an earthquake 2 days ago here in the Northeast followed up by a hurricane. We were only slightly touched by this, but I can't help but stop and reflect, thinking back about all of the victims of Katrina. The devastation that those poor people felt losing all they owned, their pets and even some of their family! One of the true crimes of this country, in regard to the lack of response and help for those victims. Hopefully much was learned from that disaster! Our state did a great job preparing us. I am still not sure how NY City fared though.
     Thankfully all of my family and my four legged babies are fine; the area that flooded was the lower level of our home, and a refinished basement type of lower level. The upper main floors are fine and dry. My mother in law's apartment, our dog room and my son's room were completely flooded. We have spare rooms upstairs so they will be fine, until we get everything dry and cleaned up. We are sifting through everything now. I stopped for a quick rest. These are only material things, we are finishing with the wet vac and cleaning up all the water, large fans that I took from my kennel are blowing. Everyone is safe and sound.  Thank god I have fed all of my son’s friends for all these years because whenever we need them these 21-25 year old men come and bail me out. Only expecting dinner tonight as payment. They all have been here since 3:00AM helping us because my husband is unable. It was well worth the gallons of lemonade and Sunday dinners. It is still raining very heavily, the rain is pounding against the roof and there are small ponds all over the yard. The sky is black, it feels like it’s the middle of the night. The strong winds have now stopped. We have sand bags where the water came in and along the bottom of the sliding doors, and diverted the water to run down the hill instead of into my sliders. I am hoping the worst of it is over. . I am sure there are coastal areas that were hit worse, our location in the woods and on a hill made us prime candidates for trees down and water run off.
     Oh yeah and my kennel and boutique are fine as well. Just thought the Boxer world would like to know what is going on in the Northeast blow by blow. Wondering how our coastal friends fared near VA, Maryland, NJ and how the Carolinas and neighboring states did? Is every one OK?

Another Irene Update from Mid State NY

 Things are not any better yet, the water is now coming under the foundation on 3 sides of the house. Seven of us are squeegee’ing to try keep it out, but as quick as we push it out, more is coming in.. We have dug trenches on all sides of the house to guide the heavy flow of water. It looks like rivers coming toward the house, my koi pond is over filled to the point that the fish can almost swim out and on to the lawn which is also a lake! Sand bags are not doing anything because the ground is so saturated that the water is coming up from the ground and into the walls. We are doing our best to keep the water to a low level, but I fear we may have to let it go. Rains are still pounding us. Hoping it will end soon. I keep thinking, if my dogs were in their crates last night, we could have had something awful happen. Electrical outlets covered in water and water up to our elbows! No Insurance for Floods in NY makes this even more stressful.  BUT as I said before I still have my kids, family, friends and dogs! Thank you for all of the prayers. I will keep updating. It’s still raining heavily here. GOOD NIGHT IRENE!

Irene Update – She’s Gone!

     First I want to thank all of the wonderful folks that offered their services and care packages. We are doing OK and will be fine. The rain has stopped now and the wind has died down. Fingers are crossed that this is the end. So far the water is no longer coming in, We have the areas somewhat dry, fans are running. Carpets pulled up. Tons of sheet rock to replace .My hands and feet are like prunes. The place looks like it has been hit by a bomb, all of my beautiful gardens a mess, but with time, we will get it together. Many things were lost, some replaceable, many not. Baby pictures of myself and kids, childhood crafts of my kids and my husband and myself. Christmas treasures from years gone by, lots of sentimental things that we just shove on the side to organize later, many years of memories and accumulations of things. In 30 years we have never flooded in this manner. Many repairs must be done, many things lost, lots of trips to the dump to do, lots of money to spend. It will be a long time before everything will be like it was and is replaced, but it will be replaced......
     I still maintain that even with the challenge's that we face in the near future, life is good!!! We are above ground and breathing!! Friends are priceless and few and far between, life would be so lonely without them. Family so very important, and should never be taken for granted!! Boxers are special gifts from above!!!!, Health the most important, no person on their death bed ever said "I wish I had made more money."  STUFF is replaceable; lives NOT!  Lets hope this is it for a while, they say what does not kill you will make you stronger. It looks like Irene is on her way. Sometime's we all get so frustrated with the list, and each other. Things get turned around and people at times are cruel, I guess it’s the nature of competition!  Unfortunately, it can sometimes bring out the worst in people. All and all though at the end of the day, this common interest we all share, the love of this breed should keep us all connected. When things get bad for people it does seem that we all team up. It was so therapeutic for me to write down my feelings and hear the many responses, shared circumstances, loads of prayers and good thoughts. I want to thank all that reached out to us. Wendy said it best: Let’s be there for each other and count our many blessings, because at the end of the day, "My dog is prettier than your dog" is not that important!  
     We just got a call from a woman who has 6 rescue dogs, the river was washing her home away, she and her animals have nowhere to go and no money! I told her to come with the dogs and we will house them for free, until she figures out what to do. So many people have it worse then you! God bless and sincerely from the bottom of my heart thank you to all who offered their support. Stay safe!

 Kerry Jones and family
Pheasant Hollow Boxers

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