Thursday, September 29, 2011

Before and...

Flooded town.


          I took a walk down Main Street in Bloomsburg yesterday near the Fairgrounds.This would have been Fair Week but because of flood devastation the annual Bloomsburg Fair was cancelled. Kids from 4-H Clubs won't be showing off their prized animals they have raised and I wonder how big and heavy this year's  grand pumpkin would have been ? Blue ribbons for quilts and canned goods will not be presented this year but the food stands are there, lined up and cooking for those that just CAN'T IMAGINE going one year without that scrumptious Fair Food. Gotta have it! (:>

There are a lot of sad sights out there but people have rolled up their sleeves and the sounds a hammering and the whirring of saws can be heard throughout the neighborhoods.Construction crews are backed up with   requests for extensive home repairs, excavators are trying to meet emergency repairs for extensive erosion around foundations and all this has to be done before winter.Neighbors and friends are tearing out damaged walls and flooring .Piles upon piles of linoleum, paneling, sheet rock and ruined furniture are lined up on Main St waiting  for garbage pickup.

Recurrent rainfall has kept creeks and rivers flowing ominously and many are concerned there might be a second flooding.It's pouring outside right now and the rains were pounding last night.South and west of me  actually did receive more flooding last night.

I love covered bridges and I was so sad to see the Sonestown Bridge in Sullivan County take a hit. The damage was caused by a flotilla of uprooted trees impaling the wooden siding of the bridge.Covered bridges add such charm during the Fall Festivals up here when autumn displays her full glory of colors.Forksville will still have the Flaming Foliage Festival this weekend, Oct 1st & 2nd from 10AM-4 PM at the Sullivan County Fairgrounds on RT 154. The RT 220 end is closed so you will have to come by RT 87 through Dushore.Free admission and parking. (:>

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September disasters

Speaking of September disasters, 53 years ago ,on September 14th, a Jersey Central commuter train ,traveling  across the 8th Street R.R.station bridge between Elizabeth and  Bayonne NJ ,plunged into Newark Bay. The train was traveling from Bay Head stopping at numerous coastal towns en route to Jersey City and Manhattan. No one ever figured out why both the engineer and conductor ignored 3 signals warning of the open tressel bridge where oil tankers and other vessels would periodically pass below.It was rumored that the engineer had a heart attack and was dead.

The memory of that day is as clear as a bell. I was in third grade in Washington School but school was closed for the Jewish Holidays. I was sitting on the floor in the parlor playing when my mother ran in and turned on the news. She was a nurse , not yet working because she was a stay at home mom in those years, and was immediately drafted for disaster nursing and placed on standby.Bayonne Hospital immediately went into disaster mode , cancelled elective surgeries and set up the cafeteria as a patient care area. As it turned out,it wasn't needed.Of the four cars that plunged into the water, only two people,a man and a woman,made it out of the commuter car that sunk to the polluted bay floor. One car was dangling from the bridge with screaming people and one or two cars remained on the tracks.One of those passengers was my dentist's receptionist.Of coarse every one in town hopped in their cars to see this spectacle and my mom packed my brothers and I into our black Chevy..I'll never forget the helicopters,rescue boats below and that awful dangling car.I can still smell the polluted brown oil slicked bay water in my memory.It's one of those things that just sticks with you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

As It Was In The Days of Noah

As Hurricane Katia tossed its' windy mane off the eastern coast, Pennsylvania's rivers and creeks swelled with the heavy rains and roared wildly through our little towns.Larger cities along the Sussquehanna River were flooded,in some cases covering first floors of homes and stores.A friend of mine had flooding up to the roof of her newly renovated home.Below is a picture of the aftermath where the overflowing creek pried up the macadam roadbed in Muncy Valley  and swept it away.

What caused this stream to suddenly overflow within minutes into neighboring backyards? Usually, in the past,it never overflowed beyond the road or driveways.

Uprooted trees and branches were first washed downstream and blocked a creek tunnel that ran under the highway.  Once that happened, violent alternative pathways raged into the neighborhood yards tearing away oil tanks afixed to houses,propane tanks,cords of wood,yard decorations, old cars,sections of people's porches and uprooting more .Some of these trees impaled the covered bridge in Sonestown. Scariest was uncut firewood which appeared to be telephone poles flying downstream.

Years ago I found this scary picture of misplaced debris  during a heavy rainstorm.You just never know what's going to slide down these mountains in bad weather (:<

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Summer Day's Ride

Summer is not over yet,at least not until the end of the month.I love driving along gravel roads where the corn is green and the sky is a deep bright blue . A rich blue where cirrus clouds  travel in armadas above ,as a naval fleet travels below . You never know what you'll run into as you come to a crest and a turn .The sight can be breath taking or it can be a junkyard with loose churlish barking dogs gnawing at your tires.No junkyard here.This sight goes on for miles .There are no buildings or highways in the view.I like that. In a few weeks, especially the second week of October,all this will be completely repainted in brilliant autumn colors.

I continued driving down this road  searching for a 'goat rescue' farm.So,up the road, around the corner and down the hill to a 'Y' in the road."Let's take a left", I said to my son who was driving.  "You mean the road with the 'KEEP OUT !! 'sign nailed on that tree?" he answered. "Yes. That's a hillbilly welcome sign meaning,"Ya'll c'mon in" .They jes' foolin',.I said. So I searched for goats among the pasturing animals as we drove downhill  on the narrow driveway .As we approached the blue house trailer I noticed a HUGE bull with an enormous forehead  that projected like an overhead anvil.  Curved horns protruded with alarming length and were navigating in our direction. He wanted no part of our visit.He scowled and snorted.He pawed at the ground and let out a deep gutteral growl. No moo's for him.I waited in my husband's spanking new truck for the householder to emerge onto  the porch to see what we wanted. I wanted to know if she was the goat rescue lady.I was interested in buying a goat. No one emerged.Only 2 skinny electric wires separated the shiny new truck from this bull who was now bellowing and pawing at the ground with 2 hooves  stamping dust clouds  around his legs.He was clearly their 'Watch Bull' and took his job very seriously. We decided to 'take tea ' some other time and got out of there as quickly as possible.
All this beautiful corn is currently being harvested for fruit stands,then later for animal feed.Many of the fields had a great deal of wind damage and were flattened .My corn was flattened by the hurricane spin off winds before growing was completed .I had to buy my corn this year.
 Look how far you can see in the distance. Those are the Endless Mountains, the range that travels through north central Pa.