Press-Republican

Columns

June 23, 2013

'River, Stay 'Way from my Door'

I love music and rivers, but not necessarily in that order. My interest in music spans the spectrum, but I especially love music from the first decades of the last century. As for rivers, I think you know which one I favor. It’s the one that zooms by 3 feet from the back of our Morrisonville home.

I have often referred to it as “our beloved Saranac.” At times, it is less beloved than others. Take about a week-and-a-half ago, for example. It rained and rained. We sang all the rain songs we could remember and thought about gathering lumber for an ark. 

The level rose to flood stage at 9 feet and didn’t stop there. We checked the sump pump(s) in our basement many times a day. We watched weather reports and listened as local media preached doom and gloom. We were told that the Cadyville dam was breached or at least damaged. The “official” warning was that we should prepare to evacuate, if necessary. 

Soon that tune was tempered by another agency assuring us that the previous report was either bogus or an exaggeration. We stayed put. We’ve been through this drill before. Mind you, our house on the Saranac was built in the 19th century and is still standing strong. It has endured monstrous ice jams and other natural disasters throughout our tenure here from 1970 to the present.

At more than one point decades ago, we were told that the dam had actually broken and there was a 12- to 16-foot wall of water on its way. We loaded kids and dogs into the car and headed to the radio station where I worked at the time. We walked into the door, and both dogs instantly pooped on the floor to exhibit their distress. I didn’t do that, but I was tempted.

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