Local News

August 23, 2012

Helping hands give flood victims a home

UPPER JAY — The water in the Dentons’ house was 4 feet high.

“It came here from all directions,” said Bob, 71. “We’ve been through a number of floods but nothing like this.”

He and his wife, Linda, 63, lost almost everything in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene a year ago. Furniture, clothing, photos and many other things they had collected over the years were swept away in the current.

The only item of value that they salvaged was Linda’s birth certificate.

A flood in 1996 caused more than $30,000 in damage to the Dentons’ home; Bob said he didn’t even bother to calculate the monetary damage this time.

Unfortunately, their house wasn’t insured.


Recovery has been slow.

Until July of this year, they lived in a room at the Brookside Motor Inn in Upper Jay. And when the inn couldn’t extend their stay due to previous reservations, the Dentons didn’t know where they’d go next. 

But thanks to a handful of volunteers, the Dentons now have another place to call home.

The Adirondack Stepsides Car Club and Christopher Straight, who is the club secretary and Car Show coordinator, organized a group of volunteers to help make a former art studio into living quarters for the couple.

Located just down the road from their old residence, the building was once a workshop for Arto Monaco, the creative mind behind the longtime Upper Jay attraction the Land of Make Believe.

The iconic artist left the place to Linda and the Dentons’ daughter, Carrie Denton, of Upper Jay.

During one work session this summer, 13 people were busy at work clearing out the inside of the building as the hot afternoon sun beat down.

One of the volunteers, Straight said, brought skills in plumbing, carpentry and electrical work.

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