It's been nearly six months since flood waters damaged homes and other property in Madison, Oneida and Herkimer Counties. Some people were able to return to their homes, while others had to leave everything behind. Our Iris St. Meran sits down with a longtime Oneida resident to see how her family plans to celebrate the holidays after the devastation.
ONEIDA, N.Y. -- Inside the apartment Sally Hall is now living in, she and her husband have tried to make it look like Christmas with donated decorations and this tree. Hall says it doesn't matter how many items she sets out, it certainly doesn't feel that way.
"I'm very grateful that I'm here, that I'm warm, that I'm dry, but it's not home when you've lived in your home 35 years. It's really tough it really is," Hall explained.
Her Pearl Street home was gutted and her family was only able to salvage a few things.
In the days following she stayed with relatives but was eager to have a place that she and her husband could call their own. They moved here across town. She said it was difficult to leave all those memories behind.
Hall added, "My husband and I have talked about this. And I said to him, 'Do you want to rebuild? Do you want to try to take out another mortgage? He said not at our age. We're to take out another mortgage; he said we could die before we had it paid off."
This transition has taken a financial and emotional toll. But the pictures of the people on the wall are just a few of the reasons she stays motivated to keep pressing on.
"My grandchildren keep me going and my daughter and my two sons. They keep me going," Hall reflected, "You don't have a choice. You have to keep going one way or another. Every day you have to come up with a new reason to get up and go to work."
It has taken a lot of work to get used to this new normal, but she is grateful that she, her family and neighbors made it out. She'll occasionally shed some tears about what she had to leave behind but knows the silver lining is being able to spend the holidays with her family even though it won't be in the place she's known as home.