On 8 September 2011 the Susquehanna River experienced record flooding. The river, normally a mile from our house, reached to our doorstep and beyond. We lost the contents of our basement, including my workshop, my electronics workbench, Marie's sewing bench, and tons of stuff we had stored there.
At first water seeped through the foundation. We stayed up all night baling, getting items off the floor, and removing valuables from the basement and first floor.
As you can see, we had an awful lot of stuff down there:
We were eventually forced to evacuate, and upon returning, discovered the river had crested immediately past our house.
Just down the street, rescue boats checked for stranded people and pets.
I donned waders and made my way to the house.
I discovered that the basement had flooded to immediately below the ductwork.
We left until the river receded, and returned the next day. A neighbor's son lent us a mega-pump, and we got the water down to a few inches. A profound mess remained to be reckoned with.
Friends & co-workers helped remove everything, and fellow archaeologists (from one of my previous professions) arrived to shovel away the remaining muck.
We put aside a bunch of items to attempt to salvage them, but a lot was utterly destroyed.
Among other things, we lost our 4-week-old front-loading washer, a 3-year old furnace, piles of collectible dolls/accessories, and hundreds of albums and cassettes (and 8-tracks!).
Luckily the basement was unfinished, but I had to gut a single interior wall.
Work crews came to empty our street...
...and disaster relief came in with food and supplies.
We set up tents in the back yard (provided by our friends on the festival circuit) to cover the items we hope to salvage.
Images of this disaster will haunt us for the rest of our lives.
But thanks to the help from friends, relatives & neighbors, we are on our way to recovering.
We would like to thank the following for assistance: Individuals
Adam Flint: cleaning
Autumn Cook: cleaning & demolition
Beth Hogan: laundry
Bill & Kate Thorpe: tents & cleaning
Bruce Wolfe: cleaning
Carol Aronowitz: cleaning
Dana Mandel: mopping & sanitizing
Dave McPeak & Lisa Inman: neighborly helpfulness
Dave Wasilewski & Karen Fisher: cleaning, mopping & sanitizing
Don, Donnie & Joanne Lawler: cleaning
Glenn Herbert: portable hot water heater
Jack Moss: mopping
Julie & Steve Strauss: tool & clothing restoration
Lee & Beth Packard: neighborly helpfulness
Linda Bergenstock: cleaning
Marianne Bauer: cleaning & showers
Mark Williams: tent teardown
Rick & Michelle Wood: neighborly helpfulness
Robert & Max Biery: cleaning
Sue Borley: photo preservation
BAE crew (Bill Kienzler, Bill Peterson, Chris Kozlowski, Gil Salomon, Khaled Ahmed, Matt Byrne, Mike Shore, Pete Chady, Victoria Toujilina, and the rest): basement emptying