As family of minor children and adults with autism in the Southern Tier of NY and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania struggle to keep routines and get their lives back to normal, the shelters empty out and families return to their homes. For at least one such family, they are going back to a house still without power, and needing to be completely bleached out due to sewage having gotten into the water.
I shudder to think, since I live in a flooded neighborhood - what if I was responsible for Bil? What would I have done when the evacuation call came? Would I have stayed in a flooded neighborhood? Would I have tried to bring Bil to a shelter and take my chances? I don't know. What I can tell you is that rational thinking goes out the door at a time like that.
Speaking of loss of routine - life stops in a flood. You can't go anywhere. The smell is incredible. Traffic noises stop but there are helicopters in the air everywhere. And the relentless sound of rain coming down...coming down....still coming down, as the water gets higher and higher.
What if we decided to try the shelters?
One shelter was at Binghamton University. We probably could not have reached that one. One was at Johnson City High School. We may have been able to get there at first but eventually all the streets around us flooded. How anxious would Bil have been? How anxious would we have been?
I am so glad we didn't have to make that choice for Bil - that he was over 100 miles away, safe.