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Finding a shared flood fury

By       Message Jeff Cox     Permalink
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I know how it feels to worry if your life is ever going to be normal again.

Sometimes it can be too much, and sometimes it's all just so insane that you can't do anything but laugh.

That was my day last Monday.

Driving home from work in New York City my phone rang. On the other end of the line was a sweet-voiced lady from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Hello Mr. Cox, this is so-and-so from FEMA calling. We'd like to know if you and your family need a house trailer to live in?"

Monday, as you'll recall, was Aug. 14. The flood, as you'll recall, was June 28.

My math is a little rusty, but if my counting is right the difference between those two dates is something like 47 days, or nearly seven weeks.

Yes, we could have used a trailer to live in while our electricity was restored, the pressure tank in our well was replaced, our septic system pumped out, the walls and floors ripped out of our downstairs, and our home fumigated. (We still can't drink our water, by the way.)
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But that was then. This is now.

We're living in our house, even though our mortgage company is withholding two-thirds of our insurance payout as their contribution to the red-tape nightmare in which we've been held captive.

We have indeed managed to rebuild our lives somewhat, but no thanks to the kindly FEMA lady and all the other indifferent bureaucrats we've had to fight our way through.

Like too many others, John McCusker found out the hard way that he's on his own in recovering from natural disaster.

If I could talk to him today, I'd tell him to hang in there.
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It will all be better someday.


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Jeff Cox is an award-winning freelance writer based near Easton, Pa. He has spent nearly 20 years in the news business, working as both a writer and an editor. His freelance work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, CNNMoney.com, (more...)

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