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Waiting to come home

Flood recovery efforts a tedious and lengthy undertaking for some

David McKeon on Tuesday, Oct. 2, sits in front of his home on Elm Street in Pattersonville. McKeon is still working on repairing his home after floods damaged it more than year ago.

David McKeon on Tuesday, Oct. 2, sits in front of his home on Elm Street in Pattersonville. McKeon is still working on repairing his home after floods damaged it more than year ago. Photo by John Purcell.

— More than a year after floods poured through Rotterdam hamlets, some residents are still working to get back in their homes.

David McKeon, a Pattersonville resident, fled his home at the end of Elm Street when he heard floodwaters crashing through the cellar door of the home he’s lived in since he built it in 1976. The water rose up 4 feet on the first floor, he said, or 11 feet from the basement.

“I literally heard the door blow open in the cellar and the water filled in,” McKeon said. His wife then grabbed a computer and a toothbrush before they ran out of the house.

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Rotterdam Junction resident Bonnie Pedone is hopeful she will move back into her Lock Street home before Thanksgiving. Pedone said she didn’t expect repairs to last more than a year.

Rotterdam Junction resident Bonnie Pedone saw her home at 2 Lock Street being flooded from an entirely different vantage point.

She had fled up a nearby hill once it was apparent the flooding wasn’t letting up. Along with her daughter, Maria, she urged other neighbors to follow. Driving out wasn’t an option for her, because the main road had flooded at both ends and blocked any exit.

“We asked one of the cops, or whoever, ‘What is the evacuation plan,’ and they said ‘We have none,’” Pedone said. “That is when we hightailed it out.”

She said her son drove his pickup truck through backyards and a dirt road before hiking the rest of the way up the rise. With some camping necessities and food, she watched floodwaters tear through Main Street.

“We had binoculars, so we could see the town filling up with water,” Pedone said. “The next day we came back … and it looked like a bomb had gone off.”

Both residents say they are hoping to be back in their repaired homes by Thanksgiving. McKeon has been living in a home he used to rent since the flood, while Pedone has been living in Colonie renting out a house from one of her son’s friends. The home had been listed, but was taken off the market so she could live there until she moved in back home.

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