Holding on in Prattsville

youngs general store prattsvilleHarrowing: Brian Young, the owner of Young's General Store in Prattsville, recounts how his family survived the Irene flooding there, in an email to customers:

For 4+ hours I clung to our shed roof with my parents, brother, and 3 dogs as we watched everything crumble and float away. My brother and I were lucky enough to pull my parents out of a window in our storage barn, then get them to our store. It was only then, when we thought we were safe, that our 100-year old building (that my Grandpa bought in 1957) started to creak and give-way.
It was at this time, surrounded by my family and our dogs on the porch of our busines, that I honestly had thoughts that this was it and some (if not all) of us might not make it. "If this building caves in," I thought "We'll all be swept down stream instantly." We then swam/waded (the water was about 4.5-5ft deep) to a shed in our store parking lot where the current wasn't as rapid (supposedly the water was moving about 35-45mph next to our store). After clinging for 3-hours to bags of potting soil that we had thrown up there for the dogs to hold on to, we swam back into the store and stayed there until we could make it to dry land late that Sunday night.
While I was up on the roof (2nd from top picture on left), I looked at my parents clinging to each other with that look of death in their eyes (if you've ever seen the scene in Titanic where the older couple are holding onto each other watching the water lap around their feet, then you know what I'm talking about).

The email ultimately turns into a message of hope and a call to rebuild.

Also: happy hour continues at the Prattsville Tavern -- even though there's no bar. [NYT]

Also also: here's the Prattsville recovery fund.

[via @aschae]

photo: Young's General Store


Though this is a terrible story and I feel for the family with everything they lost, this does beg the question "Weren't you told to evacuate?" Most of us in flood zones were informed well before the waters got that high to leave. I understand wanting to know what's going on at your home but elderly and pets! Evacuation orders are put in place for a reason, to save the lives of the residents and those who will be duty bound to rescue them. I wish more people would listen to that so there would be less terrifying experiences like this one.

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