Friday, June 30, 2006
It figures- the biggest thing to happen in Binghamton in decades, and John and I leave on a plane the night before all the activity. After being delayed by weather on Tuesday night, we left Binghamton early Wednesday morning for a scheduled trip home to Los Angeles for 6 days over the long 4th of July weekend. You can imagine my surprise when I woke up Thursday morning in LA, only to hear the local newscaster talking about Binghamton and the "mighty Susquehana River" and showing video footage of one of the local bridges. I could figure out where I'd woken up! Then, to open the L.A. Times and read about my adopted "home" . . . too weird.
Since people are asking, our house (which we rent) is totally fine, but there is serious, serious damage immediately surrounding our house and offices, and for miles around. I found a photo of our favorite diner, Jane's. Just in that one instance, which will certainly be repeated for thousands of other businesses, I think about the nice older Greek couple that owns the busy diner, and all the sweet young Greek girls who work there. Not only is their restauarant ruined, but all those people are out of work for the foreseeable future. And, as much as I want to support them, I have to say that- given the fact that the local sewage treatment plant is in ruins for now- I'm not eating out for awhile.
The hospital that sits 3 blocks from our house was totally evacuated. I'm pretty sure my office (in downtown Binghamton) never opened, since people couldn't get there. I found so many photos online, where I knew exactly the block or the store, I can't begin to post them. Here is a sample- a street sign John passes every day on the way to work.
Downtown Binghamton sits at the confluence of two rivers: the Chenango and the Susquehana. It's not a very fast or exciting river- just sort of flat with not-very-big slopes. There are retaining walls in spots, but apparently they were breached in 4 places in the city (to the benefit of the downstream areas of Pennsylvania).
Well, I'm not really sure what to write here since a) I don't have personal stories to share yet, and b) there's so much to talk about! Here is the link to our local newspaper, which has very good coverage and amazing photos.