So we left last Thursday evening, heading to the latest natural disaster.
The last exit open on Interstate 86 was for my hometown. Just a few miles east, from Nichols all the way past Binghamton, the highway was swamped as it snakes its way beside and over the Susquehanna, which hasn't flooded like this in 40 years. They were helicoptering families out of the Cannon Hole area of Barton. The Tioga County seat, Owego, saw its historic courthouse square under several feet of water, along with much of the rest of the town. Athens, PA, which suffered so much 39 years ago during the Hurricane Agnes flooding saw much of it, again, inundated, along with various stretches of US 220, particularly between Milan and Ulster. Bridges were washed away, roads undermined, houses floated away. In Owego, several homes burned because fire crews couldn't get through several feet of rushing flood waters to stop them.
Meanwhile, Congress dithers over providing disaster relief. What was a routine part of law-making life - providing assistance to people who need it - has now become part of the larger nonsensical game of politics. Which is not to make a blanket condemnation of "politics" or "politicians". Rather, it is to make the far more pointed argument that, at least for the moment, we should all probably pick up a phone and make a call to our US Representative (the Senate passed disaster relief last night) and urge a "Yea" vote on disaster relief. Send a message to the nutjobs in Congress that it might be nice to have them act less like sociopaths.
If you are reading this and are on Facebook, even if you aren't a "friend", go find the page for Henry Dunn Inc. and click "like". For every "Like" they get, they will donate a dollar to flood relief. This is very real, and you can "unlike" in a few days if you have no desire to get updates from an insurance company. Every little bit helps, right?
Help On The Way (Live, Boston, 1991) - The Grateful Dead
Love's Recovery (Live) - The Indigo Girls
Loose Heart - Riverside
Deutsche Messe - Franz Schubert
After the Ordeal - Genesis
Still - The Commodores
Giants Under The Sun - Yes
Revelation - Symphony X
Cosmic Fusion - Ayreon
GOUDEAMUS (All Saints Day) - Gregorian Chorale of Eglise Querin
This is where folks from Binghamton, NY to Harrisburg, PA are right now, living after the ordeal. Do what you can to help 'em out. It might even make you feel a little better.