On September 8, 2011, my hometown of Athens, Pennsylvania, and the other small towns around us were hit by a devastating flood. In Athens, where the population is 3,000 over half of my town became homeless over night. There are twenty-seven streets here and 19 of them received floodwater to some extent.
The flood occurred after Tropical Storm Lee, decided to hang out in our area and dump lots of rain in a few days. The water upstream, and from the hills surrounding Athens and the surrounding areas began to fill the rivers on either side of town.
We call our local area the valley and there are many small little towns and villages here, up and down the river. Just below Athens, the Susquehanna and Chemung Rivers merge into one and become the Susquehanna.
When a dike broke upstream, the Valley captured its wrath, as the river raged. After dumping 6-8 foot of water locally, the water flowed south and destroyed villages, towns and cities within its path all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.
My home sits blocks away from the downtown area, and well as a human being, I knew I had to do something. I was down there cleaning homes in the food zone with hundreds of other people. I also worked in the shelter at the local fire company on the day it became a local Red Cross shelter, many fellow residents were also there helping.
So many people were helping to do what they could to help. From collecting donations to sorting and distributing, the tons of clothing, cleaning supplies and food in the shelter to working in the flood raved areas. It was not only the locals but many people out of the local area came to help us. People from other states donated items and came to help clean the mess, and we are thankful.
It did renew my faith in Humanity and I wanted to give something back to the community in a unique way. I had seen the devastation with my own eyes and I fear I will never get those images out of my mind.
I put together a book of images of the devastation this flooding caused so that we will always remember. I also included some of the stories of community spirit. However, that first book was too small for the reader to see the devastation so I changed the size of the book and it worked fine.
This did change the price of the book, I had originally planned to sell it for $8 to keep it affordable to everyone, but the new size cost more to manufacture. The price is now $10 for the black and white version. It is now 8 by 10 and includes over 60 photos.
There is also a color version for $20 dollars, and this one allows the reader to fully comprehend the devastation. The few people who seen the eight by ten black and white version were in unanimous agreement that the book should be in color.
Each copy includes the same photographs; one book simply has color photographs. Both of these books will be available on Amazon, and please note that shipping charges will be included. I will also be selling these books in person on December 3, 2011 at the Athens Township Fire Hall. At the fire hall, there will be no shipping charges.
A percentage of the purchase of either of these books goes to help with flood relief of our valley.
Currently I am waiting for the books to appear on Amazon, they should be there shortly. I will post the URLS to both on my wall when they show up there.