Susquehanna Flood – 2011


One block from our apartment.

I have to be honest. I was a bit worried there for a while. It was hard to drive away from the apartment, not knowing if it would be under 2 feet of water when we returned. Not knowing if our things would be damaged, how much clean-up there would be, which things we would have to replace and which things we wouldn’t be able to.

To make matters worse, Chris had left for work and I was convinced he would get trapped there and I would have to figure out what to do on my own. I was certain I was going to be one of those crazy people who refuses to leave the house until the last possible minute when the police and knocking on the door from a boat. Luckily (??) Chris couldn’t make it to work because his route was already flooded, so I had someone to corral me out of the apartment to higher ground.


This is what the river looked like at 9am on Wednesday. It was at 19 feet, and the experts were predicting it would crest at 28 feet. Before the rain started, the river was at 8 feet, and even then it was high because of Hurricane Irene dumping rain upstream. At 28 feet the river would spread to 3-4 blocks back (that’s 2-3 blocks past our apartment).


Above at the bottom of the photo you can see just barely see the top of the path that Barley and I take to get down to the lower river walk.  Let’s look on the bright side, this will clear away some of the goose poop. On the downside, the sidewalks will probably be covered in mud and debris for quite a while.


Our apartment. Plants still in place on the stoop- a good sign!

Above you can see how close the water came to our apartment. The water that filled the streets and was creeping up the sidewalk left a muddy trail. Luckily there’s no water in the apartment, but our storage space in the basement is under 2-4 feet of water. The electric and gas companies cut off services, and they are expected to be off until Sunday or Monday.


 The sidewalk in front of the apartment. Nice and sludgy. 


Seneca and Front Streets

Fortunately for us, and many of our neighbors, the river crested earlier and lower than expected at 25.17 feet on Saturday night. This means less damage, sooner clean up, and the folks on Green Street can breathe a sigh of relief as the narrowly dodge disaster. It also means gas and electric might be turned, and we might be able to go home sooner.


Mr. Snapping Turtle

This guy was probably very tired after a long swim. He was the size of a dinner plate, or a small pizza.


At least someone is enjoying all of the puddles! This is the view looking North on Front Street from Seneca. This is the route Barley and I usually take on our morning walks.


Exercise anyone?


Puddle Jumping

This is the closest I can ever remember being to a natural disaster of this magnitude. I grew up in Missouri (tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods, oh my!), so I’m no stranger to the power of mother nature, but this is the first time it’s hit so close to home; the first time it’s impacted my daily landscape. All in all we were pretty lucky. We had a warm, welcoming, safe place to stay. Our home and belongings are mostly in tact (I’ll get back to you after we can get into the basement).  It could have been much worse.

The damp air in the apartment caused my peaches and tomatoes to begin rotting, so I performed some emergency canning measures today. Stay tuned for info on my creations!

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