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Record-breaking Flooding in Central New York and Northern Pennsylvania: Does Anyone Care?
Marilla Mulwane, Yahoo! Contributor Network, Sep 8, 2011


Not two weeks after Hurricane Irene pummeled the East coast, Tropical Storm Lee took a few shots, as well. Despite being a weaker storm than Irene, Lee packed a bigger punch to the small towns and villages of Central NY and Northern PA. It is almost as if Mother Nature said, “Oops, I missed. Let’s try again.” While streets drown in water, bridges out and homes destroyed, the rest of world sits seemingly oblivious to the goings-ons. That’s because to the major media hubs, the damage is not important.

After turning on the news this morning, the Today Show mentioned, “Northwest NY was getting some flooding,” and moved on to what they deemed more important. After signing in to Associated Content, the front page is filled with stories about 9/11, and after a news search, only a few sites even mentioned the flooding. Apparently, the only people that care about this record-breaking flood are those directly affected. The same goes for the fires in Texas. Here in NY, we hear little about the devastation there and how the fight is going. Towns destroyed, including homes and businesses, lives ripped apart all across the country, and it never makes the news.

For those that care, Central NY and Northern PA are in danger. Evacuations in towns such as Unadilla, NY gave little notice. Much of the area is under States of Emergency, including most of the Binghamton, NY area. The Susquehanna River is raging at levels equal to and above those from the 2006 flood that completely wiped out towns such as Conklin, NY. Only five years after that flood, these communities have rebuilt their lives only to have to rebuild it all again. In Pennsylvania, things are just as bad. ZooAmerica at Hershey Park killed two of their bison that were drowning, according to ABC.

Days before Hurricane Irene hit, towns and cities were preparing for the worst. The news focused on New York City and the potential damage and dangers. While Irene raged over the Carolinas, the news droned on about New York City. Once Irene passed, it became obvious that the damage to the city was minimal, but Eastern NY was hit hard, especially communities such as Windham, which was destroyed. What happened in the Carolinas? Not really sure, because the news said little.

The warnings before Lee struck were that we had potential major flooding. We were told that flooding was possible. There were no evacuations ahead of time, and not one emergency shelter opened before the rains hit. Evacuations and shelters announcements came after the damage was done. No blame falls on the shelters, and emergency personnel who have worked tirelessly to help others. Without them, the situation would be much worse. Let’s not forget the many neighbors and strangers who place their own safety on the line to help others. These small communities, filled with those selfless people, are a necessity when little help comes from elsewhere. We may be small communities, unimportant and easily forgotten, but we will stick together.

Neighboring towns and cities want to know what is going on. If you have news or information, please share it.

For photos of flooded areas in Afton and Bainbridge, NY, check out this slideshow: Central New York Flood 2011: Afton and Bainbridge

For photos of other hard hit areas, visit the WBNG photo gallery.


By AFarmer

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12 years ago

You have to live in the middle of it to have any sense of the impact.
My wife, daughter and granddaughter, plus myself spent 3 days pumping out a neighbors basement who had not had any water since 1972.
The towns of Manheim, Marietta, Harrisburg, Columbia, Port Deposit and parts of Lancaster County encountered severe flood damage, including several covered bridges, main roads and thousands of residents thrown out of their houses. It’s going to be many months before our river and creek communities return to normal.
Even one car dealer lost his show room and was unable to save 50 new cars. This is just 3 weeks after a soaking we took from that last Hurricane.

Ana Grarian
12 years ago

My son-in-law is in the Binghamton/Owego area today helping his family clean-up after the mess. His Aunt’s house which had been flooded in 2006 has had worse damage this time. (Fortunately Aunt F is not there to see it this time). His sister has lost her home. I believe their restaurant is ok.

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