Tag: Floods

Mystic

Posted by – October 23, 2011

Back in early September I flew to Connecticut to help folks who had been affected by Tropical Storm Irene.   Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lee formed in the Gulf and was slowly making its way North.  Most folks seemed concerned about the impacts of Irene but didn’t seem to give a second thought to Lee’s impending presence.  But Lee proved to be as much, if not more, of a menace dumping heavy rainfall on the (already saturated) northeast and causing historic flooding.

I worked in Connecticut 3 weeks and two days before I was scheduled to leave; I got my first day off.  The locals had been giving me ideas about where I should go.  The two most suggested places were Mystic Seaport and the casinos.  So, in the days leading up to that day I mapped out my journey, printed some info, and charged up my camera.

That morning I woke up at 4am determined to be in Mystic for the sunrise.  Unfortunately, it was completely overcast and the sun did not make an appearance.  (Truth be told, I wouldn’t have made it anyway.)  Mystic is a nice coastal town in southeast Connecticut.  It’s home to Mystic Pizza, the place that inspired the movie of the same name, and sits on the Mystic River, not the one from the movie of the same name.  Mystic Seaport didn’t open til 9am so I walked around town for a few hours taking in the scenery and snapping some pictures.  Suddenly, I felt like I was in one of those old TV shows from back in the day.  Every person I passed greeted me with a smile and a “Good Morning”.  Even folks biking or driving by would wave and yell out a “Good Morning”.  Most times you don’t get so much as a grunt out of someone so this was completely foreign to me.

When the Seaport finally opened I spoke to the customer service lady.  She gave me pricing and information for what the Seaport had to offer and told me set aside two days to see and do everything.  Since my time was limited I opted to take the info and hope I can use it another time.  In case you’re wondering what there is to do at the Seaport…  tour old ships, take a boat ride up the Mystic River, rent boats, see exhibits, walk through the museum and a re-created 19th-century village, check out the last wooden whaling ship in the world (currently being restored at the Seaport), and browse the shops.

Next, I took a quick drive into Rhode Island for some lunch and then headed to Uncasville to the Mohegan Sun Casino.  The Foxwoods Resort and MGM Grand at Foxwoods are located a few miles away in Mashantucket.  (FYI, Connecticut has the 3 largest casinos in the world.)  I opted for the Mohegan at someone else’s suggestion.  The casino is impressive.  There were 3 separate casinos inside along with bars, restaurants, shops, and the Mohegan Sun Arena.  Beautiful place!   I spent most of my time checking out the architecture and the décor.  I threw a few bucks in the slots, played some blackjack, and then called it a day.

I took the long route back to my hotel so I could pass through a few other areas I wanted to see.  It was a relaxing, leisure drive and I did enjoy myself.  The following day I would be back to work to wrap things up.  Then a quick stop at home to check things out and on to Pennsylvania.

For more Mystic info check here.  My Mystic pics are here.

Not So Great Flood

Posted by – September 16, 2011

Water, water everywhere and yet for Texas none to spare!  (You didn’t know I was a poet did you?)  There’s been a lot of flooding in the news this year as well as a lot of unhappy home dwellers.  One of the reasons for that unhappiness…  No insurance to cover the losses resulting from the flood.  Many folks thought because they had homeowner’s insurance they were covered.  This is a huge misconception.  I’ve also spoken to folks who said they tried to buy flood insurance but their insurance agent told them they were not in a flood plain and therefore could not buy it.  Not true.  These issues and questions about flood insurance from a family member prompted me to write this post.

In order to get my facts right I went to a friend who is a representative for NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program).  I asked him some general questions about flood insurance and listed the major points below.  Hope this information helps clear up some misconceptions you may have.

Homeowner’s Insurance (HOI) vs. Flood Insurance:   You have 2 inches of water standing in the first floor of your home.  Which insurance policy will cover the damage?  The answer depends on what caused those 2 inches of water.  If the water came from above (ie… rain coming through the roof or compromised windows, broken water pipes) it is a HOI issue.  If the water comes from the ground up it is considered a flood issue and HOI will not cover it.

Homeowner’s insurance does NOT cover every potential hazard.  Check your policy to see what coverage you have.  Flood Insurance is ALWAYS a separate policy.  (*Quick Note:  Sewer Backup (SBU) is not covered by HOI.  Neither is it considered flood.  You must purchase an SBU rider to your HOI to be covered.)

ANYONE with insurable property can buy flood insurance.  NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters and business owners IF their community participates.  (Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.)  Folks in non-participating communities can obtain flood insurance through a third-party insurer like Lloyds of London but YOU WILL PAY.   

Flood insurance comes in two flavors:
Structural coverage and Contents coverage (separate policies for each).

Flood insurance through NFIP is CHEAP.

Those are the facts.  I didn’t want to go into detail because everyone’s circumstances and requirements may be different.  I’ll leave you to get the details.  In the meantime, there are two other points my friend wanted to make related to flooding and flood insurance.  A few things to keep in mind…

If you live in a 100 or 500 year flood plain it does NOT mean that your area will only flood every 100 or 500 years.  It means that you have a 1% (100 year) or .5% (500 year) chance of getting flooded EVERY year.

The biggest issue folks have (at least in particular areas) is basement flooding.  Primarily because basements (even finished ones) are not considered essential living areas.  Flood insurance may only pay for structural damages in the basement area, as well as, a damaged furnace and hot water heater but repair of the living area is not covered.

Well, I hope this information is helpful to you.  If you’d like more information on flood insurance call 800-427-4661 or visit  www.FloodSmart.gov

Flood Relief

Posted by – May 31, 2010

As I stated last post, there are a lot of folks doing things for the those affected by the floods in Tennessee.  Here in Nashville (Music City, USA) there have been a few concerts put together to raise funds.  The biggest of these events will take place at the Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday, June 22nd.

The Nashville Rising benefit concert, spearheaded by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, features performances by the two artists and others including:  Brooks & Dunn, Miley Cyrus, Amy Grant, Lynard Skynard, Leann Rimes, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and ZZ Top.  According to the site, the number of performers will continue to grow as the event draws closer.

Tickets for the concert went on sale May 14thand sold out quickly.  According to a local news report, there are tickets available on various sites (like Ebay) if you’re willing to pay the outrageous price folks are charging and the event website shows there are some VIP packages still available for the price of $1,000.

Back in 1992, I went to the Hurricane Relief Concert in Miami after Hurricane Andrew.  The concert was organized by Gloria Estefan, Andy Garcia, and Whoopi Goldberg.  It cost $40 per ticket and was worth every penny… and then some.  It lasted somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 or 9 hours and included music and comedy artists:  Jimmy Buffet, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Bee Gees, Michael Winslow, Elayne Boosler, Rosie O’Donnell, and many, many, MANY more.

I’ve been to a lot of concerts but none will EVER compare to that one.  It was truly a unique experience.  A once in a lifetime opportunity.  I bring that up to say to you… if you have the opportunity to go to one of these relief concerts…. GO.   If you are going, dress comfortably, don’t drink too much (especially at the beginning), and enjoy every moment.  After all, it’s for a good cause, right?

For more information about the concert go to http://www.nashvillerising.org

Nashville Update

Posted by – May 24, 2010

Well, there’s still a lot of work to be done here.  Mountains of trash, debris, and ruined household contents dot the landscape but folks are slowly making progress.  I haven’t had much of an opportunity to take pictures of the area here.  (The one to the right I “borrowed”.)  We’ve been pretty busy since our arrival 2 1/2 weeks ago and when the work day is done I have just enough time to eat a light dinner / snack, call home, and check email before I pass out for the night.

Last Friday I moved into new digs.  Nothing special but at least now I don’t have to stand in a foot of dirty water while I shower, there’s a laundry room downstairs, and I have highspeed internet available.  In addition, one of my co-workers (a barber for 32 years) is in the same place.  Yesterday, while I waited for the laundry room to be available, he came to my room and gave me a hair cut.  That’s room service!

I don’t think we’ll have an opportunity anytime soon to get out and play tourist but we’ve gotten quite a few suggestions from the locals on sites to see and great places to eat.  I’m hoping we can check some of those out before we leave the state.  For now the only places I’ve seen (other than work and my room) are the ones I visit for lunch.  Besides the usual fast food places, I’ve been to only two other establishments.  I frequent Rafferty’s Restaurant most.  The food there has been consistently good and the service is excellent.  They really make you feel like you’re the only one in the place.  Yesterday I checked out Jersey Mike’s Subs and ordered their “Famous Philly Cheesesteak”.  Now, I’m no Philly Cheesesteak expert but that was probably the best I’ve ever had.    I’m looking forward to trying out more places in the coming days.  I loves me some food!  

The people here have been extremely nice and neighborly and the communities (for the most part) have really stepped up to help folks out.  I say ‘for the most part’ because I spoke to a guy the other day who lost everything and went to a local church to ask if they could help him with food and clothing.  They told him NO because he wasn’t a member of their church.  NICE.  (Those of you who know me know that I am not a fan of churches.  This would be yet another reason why.)

There are lots of other individuals and community groups, though, doing some great things for these folks.  Some of them appreciated, some not.  Most people seem to be grateful for everything that everyone is trying to help with.  Others whine about not getting as much help from as many people as their neighbors, friends, or family members.  It’s an unappealing, childish sense of entitlement that irritates me.    I think any help (big or small) from any source should be appreciated but… that’s me.  Kudos to ALL of those who are helping. 

Now, back to work I go. 
(to be continued…)

Flying High Again… to Nashville

Posted by – May 6, 2010

I found out yesterday afternoon I would be going to Nashville… today.  After nervously sucking down 2 or 3 Dr. Peppers and making the necessary phone calls, I made sure my gear was packed and starting preparing the house.  I waited for my mother’s arrival before finishing up my tasks.  We hit the grocery store for pet food, the bank for some cash, and Burger King for a Whopper. 

I finally got to bed around 11pm but I was not destined to sleep.  I was wired up in anticipation and I just couldn’t turn my mind off.  I got up at 6 to shower and finish up what I needed to do before my mother drove me to the airport. Once I found my gate I grabbed some breakfast at the McDonalds and waited for the plane to board.

This was my first time flying Southwest Airlines.  When it was time for section B to start boarding I headed for the gate.  I was checking out my boarding pass as I approached the gate agent and noticed no seat assignment.  I politely asked the guy how I would know which seat I was suppose to be in since it was not noted.  He replied, “Well, you’ll be sitting up front with the pilot, of course!”  Then he told me that it was open seating.  If only I had enough energy to make a gesture at him.

Two hours later we landed in Nashville.  I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when I get here.  The newsmedia tends to make mountains out of molehills, as we all know, but this time (it seems) they may have  understated.  Most news coverage is focused on the Nashville area but the truth is, the flooding here has affected about 3/4 of the state.  There’s a lot of work to be done here.  Here’s hoping they recover quickly.

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