Rising Together Report
by Patricia Crowell
09/04/2021 | 1:01 pm
What Happened: Ian, my husband happened to be writing a song the week leading up to September 1, 2021 not knowing what was about to happen. It was to be called Old Man River and it had to do with a flood believe it or not. As if the whole thing was a manifestation of what we were about to experience on Swan Street in Lambertville. Our 1880’s Italianate Victorian house sits on Swan Creek and within 15 minutes of a phone notification we were moving things from the basement to first floor, then first floor to second floor frantically and we were not sure how high we would have to go. Ian was in the basement when the walls started shooting water inward and the window crashed in. You start looking at your belongings with two seconds to decide if it’s worth saving by running them up a flight of stairs. Finally looking out the second floor window you ask yourself if necessary are you willing to jump into that water and swim to safety. My mother’s car was floating down the street toward the river. It was all very traumatizing. Thankfully waters stopped rising before it took over the main part of our first floor. We captured video and photos as we could that day. The attached video was shared hundreds of times on Facebook. Our neighbors up and down the street were not as fortunate with flood waters roaring through their first floors. One neighbor was holding her dog deliriously walking through the waters and we brought her into our home for safety. We used social media to ask for volunteers to come to our house and strangers showed up asking what they could do. On our driveway we greeted to the leaders of Red Cross, FEMA and even the governor. For several days our porch and driveway became the central location on Swan for everyone to get supplies, food, rest or talk about what to do next. Since that day our neighborhood has been in recovery mode that takes on many forms of physical and mental adjustments. We don’t trust that it is really over because it could definitely happen again in this unique geography.
When Did it Happen: 2021-09-01
How Did it Affect You: There are positives we know for certain. It’s the people that came to our rescue make this the best community in the world. If we move – could we ever find such a warm and caring community elsewhere? In the last year we have been dealing with the losses and damages as best we can and also working on that song that Ian was writing. We added our images to the song and hope to share it with everyone with our permission to share it at the Youtube link below or other social links we have. Ian is a songwriter – he has 400+ songs written and some recorded, we have a band called Working Class Hussys. If you have any other ideas of how we can share this song or our story, please let me know. https://youtu.be/5fCjhCViHBI (Old Man River music video) Patricia Crowell and Ian Patrick Gentles
Did The Experience Change How You Think About Flooding: Yes