West Seneca residents were afraid and bewildered when forced to evacuate their homes when ice-jammed Buffalo Creek spilled over into their Lexington Green homes.
But the panic was evident at the home of the Hudsons, who happened to be recording at the very moment that their home was assaulted by an unrelenting torrent of water.
“Just devastation. You can’t stop it, no matter what could have been done, if it’s going to come in, it’s going to come in. It was just helplessness,” Dan Hudson said.
He had been in the basement shooting video of a pipe that had burst the day before the flood when suddenly his house shook and he panned up to the basement window with his camera.
“Within seconds it was coming through the ceiling. The ceiling came crashing down. At that point it was coming in through the foundation and the floor boards,” he said.
Dan’s wife Wendy had just gotten out of the shower and was panic stricken. She and Dan were among the West Seneca flood victims telling town and county officials Tuesday night that they are already having problems dealing with insurance companies.
When they told their insurance company about their furnace, Wendy said a company official responded by saying, “We don’t care that is was from 1967, your furnace doesn’t meet code and you have to pay the difference.”
Damage to the Hudsons once finished basement and the loss of their appliances and personal items is estimated at about $125,000. Dan visited the states’s Mobile Command Center on Wednesday to get help dealing with his family’s losses. The state’s Financial Services Department will help flood victims deal with their insurance companies.
The Hudsons, like so many of their neighbors, are deeply concerned about the devastating effects of the flood, but are thankful their family got through it.
Dan said, “The value of life. We’re all safe, main importance, and we love each other and we’ll get through it…we’ll get through it.”
Dan saw a lot of misery in the first Gulf War while in the Army and took part in the recovery efforts after the Oklahoma City Bombing. He is no stranger to tragedy. The Hudsons, who have three daughters, also lost a daughter when she was struck by a car four years ago.