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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of three. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and will have been married for 57 years this February.

Monday, November 8, 2010


There are a lot of other photos of the flood that has not made it here on this post, as there are too many. The first evening of the flood  I had stayed in the city at my daughter because I was baby-sitting and could not make it back home that day when they moved the cattle. So I have no photos.

The main road is built higher than the two side streets that comes down to the river. When it floods bad, we are stranded. The only way we can go back and forth to the main road is in my husband huge tractor. He drives neighbors who works up the main road in the morning and picks them up after work.  We all leave our  cars on dry ground up the main road. As long as we can get to the main road we can drive into town.  

 There were many volunteers who help move approximately  140 head of our cattle. Some went to one farm and the milking cows went to another farm that was about a half hour drive from here.  We were in contact with EMO, (Emergency  Organization) constantly and they were very helpful in orchestrating the cattle rescue.

Here, I'll continue with photos of the aftermath of the flood in my basement.  Notice that there were no molds on the lower shelves as these were all moved up on the work tables, even on the pouring table, anywhere where there was available space. The old pantyhose was used to strain reclaimed ceramic slip.  ( I thought that I better explain what they were doing there, lol.) The plywood and rack were used as extra space to dry greenware.

A lots of older molds had no place to be put on higher ground and were left on lower shelves as we thought that we would be able to keep the water at bay like always with the sump pump.

This is the entrance to my ceramic shop from the garage, a lot of the sand and mud that was under the garage floor seeped through small cracks  and made it into the basement.

                                         This is what the floor looked like in the shop.

As the water receded in the yard, you can see some of my leeks that were left in the vegetable garden over the winter.

                                          Foam left behind in the yard as the water receded.

These leeks were planted deep in the ground but now the top soil has washed away and the roots are showing in my vegetable garden.

Everything that was on the floor in my garden shed got damaged. Here the water is receding.

My big flower pot which was full of soil with a perennial in it was overturned and carried away.

My two wooden  garden swings were swept away from the patio on the previous photo all the way to the back flower bed against the hedge. Notice the sand bar left behind on my back lawn.
Mud and sand everywhere  

This is another view of the log sandbar left behind on the lawn.
Our new deep well had a lot of erosion around the pipe. Some of the gravel that came up when the well was dug made it's way to the surface as you can see in the next photo.

Under all that gravel was my small round free standing peony flower bed. All the gravel had to be removed quickly. To get the rest out I used my leaf blower and it did the trick.
Here is what is left of one of my compost. The compost bin was lifted and floated to the hedge in the back.

A portion of my day lily flower bed showing all the roots from the soil erosion. The bricks are covered with mud.

Debris accumulation in my large flower bed. Some peonies and Irises  and day lilies are starting to grow.

So much mess to clean by myself as the men have the farm  damages to deal with.
The fence was a barrier for the debris and the horse pasture was spared,

The road going to the fields is about a mile long and it was badly eroded too and in much need of repairs. Some places closer to the river there were large craters that were eroded even though the ground was higher there.
My elderly neighbor had all his basement furniture damaged  in the flood. The poor man had to care for his wife who had Alzheimer and she couldn't cope being away from her familiar surroundings.

One of the cattle trucks returning some of the cattle after the farm was cleaned and equipment either replaced or repaired  and ready to operate again.

Some drift wood separated from the debris and later dried and cut for fire wood.
Debris taken from the flower bed and piled in the back awaiting the time that we would have time to deal with it, much later.

Soon after the water receded the flower bed on higher ground returns to normal spring growth as if nothing happened.  Isn't nature grand? 
This is the road along the river bank going to the farm  fields, showing some erosion and a large crater in the middle can be seen. There were many craters  on this road six to eight inches deep. The tree line helps protect the land but there were a lot of drift wood that took about two weeks to pick from the fields. We have about 300 acres. The drift wood gathers in the low line areas of the fields.

This is the end of this flood show. I hope that you can get an idea of what a bad flood can do. One of the neighbor's house was condemned and is still sitting vacant and abandoned and is now an eye sore and the owner is staying in another province.  A constant reminder.  JB


  1. So sorry to hear about the flood. I am understand having to deal with flooding here in Houston, and the clean up of my house after a broken water line. It has been three months and we are still dealing with it. Recovery is a slow process.

  2. Hi Julia, I feel for you . I lived in Crest in
    Southern California. We went through the Cedar Fire and over 200 homes were burned in our town. The fire came 18 feet from our home and for years all we saw were our neighbors burned up houses. It was so hard living in a area that has gone through a disaster. People tend to think that time has gone on and forget that rebuilding takes years.Being evacuated was no fun and not knowing for three days if we had a home was horrible. I truly feel for you and realize it takes a long time for everything to get back to normal.Cheri

  3. Thanks for your comments April and Cheri.
    It's been a few years but you're right, it take a long time to bounce back to normal from such disaster. It's always easier and faster to built something new than to tear down and rebuilt. For us it's something we live with every spring since the Mactaquac dam was built years ago. We keep our fingers crossed and hope that the river will not overflow its banks. It all depends not only on the weather in our area but on the weather up river from us in Maine. JB

  4. Wow how terrible. You know we see these things on TV but don't really know how hard it is to re-coop.
    I am happy you all are still safe and am thankful for farmers like you all that work so hard to produce good food.
    Thank you again.

  5. Wow Julia, that is quite a story and the pictures are just so over whelming. I am so glad you shared the pictures today. You are a survivor. What happened with your business? Do you still do it?

  6. Thanks Katie and Farm Girl. Farm life sure is not for everyone, but when we meet with some adversities we have to roll with the punches. About $30,000.00 worth of damaged molds were dumped and the rest are still in my garage and basement. I still have all my paints and supplies and bisque but my two kilns are not working. I don't have time to do ceramics now as I work full time for the farm. My shelves have all been removed and disposed of except those in the pouring room. I would like to sell everything at an auction but I don't know if there is enough interest in Ceramics now. JB

  7. Wow how amazing what water can do.
    thank you for following my blog I will follow along with you.

  8. Hi Julia,
    What a heartbreaking mess!

    Has the rain stopped yet? I haven't checked the weather in your area today, but I hope the worst is over.

  9. Thanks for your comment Cathy (Acorn hollow) and Pat. It was also a back breaking mess, lol. thank goodness it's all in the past.
    It's still raining here and for the rest of the day. I'm feeling like Moses and think that maybe we should have built an Ark and put the cows JB

  10. My daughter Christine is probably laughing at me now on this last comment about my biblical reference. I know, I know, Noah built the ark and Moses parted the Red Sea. In any case it has to do with a lot of water, lol...
    Biblical Knowledge belongs to my husband. JB

  11. I am so tired of feeling soggy and chilly. I want some sun! And yes, I know I'm whining.

  12. What the flood did to your house and community was terrible. Particularly your basement, which was covered with mud and dirt. I hope you were able to clean and restore everything that’s been damaged by this storm soon after. Take care!

    Gail Wallace @ Emergency Flood Masters