Veronica Murphy of Au Sable Forks washes off photographs recovered from her home.
Three days after Tropical Storm Irene showed little to no mercy here, the residents of Au Sable Forks, Jay and Upper Jay started to pick up the pieces.
“We can’t live here any more,” Sidney “Sid” Smith said about his home in Au Sable Forks. “The water was up to my waist. We’ve spent the last couple days just cleaning everything out.”
Veronica Murphy sat in front of her home, in the Jersey section of Au Sable Forks, and tried to wash off pictures.
That section of town was hit very hard by flooding, as were the hamlet’s youth sporting fields and courts.
At the Au Sable Forks Community Center, which houses the town of Jay offices, volunteers collected food and clothing, as well as served food to those who needed it.
“My family has always been service-oriented,” Judy Troy, a volunteer from Keeseville who works at the CVPH kitchen, said. “I thought that I needed to come over and help in the kitchen.”
“We are offline at the library, so we decided to help out around the community,” Susanna Corey of the Au Sable Forks Library said.
While Corey said that her library was not damaged, the same was not true at the Wells Library in Upper Jay, where librarian Karen Rappaport said 40-percent of the inventory was destroyed.
“All of the childrens’ picture books were destroyed,” Rappaport said. “We lost about 40-percent of our things. The Adirondack Collection is also gone, which had some special books that cannot be replaced easily.”
Tim Monaco said he had never seen flooding like this in Upper Jay.
“You just never expect it,” Monaco said. “It moved the refrigerators around in my store. It took out a lot of stuff. You know where the (Land of Make Believe) Workshop was? I say was because now, it’s just a field.”
Shock crews and National Guard soldiers from Kingston were on scene over the past several days helping with recovery efforts.