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Columns

May 6, 2013

Local windstorm in 1983 caused tense moments

(Continued)

“I guess we’ll just have to rebuild,” Neunzig said. In a follow-up article in the Star in April 1984, the home had been rebuilt, nearly identical to the old one, with wood and stone from the land he owned and had grown up on.

“We count our blessings,” Neunzig said in 1984, “but every time the wind comes up a bit, we can’t help but think about it.”

Overall the storm caused an estimated $700,000 in damages in the town of Davenport. The Neunzigs and Garrisons were quickly aided by their neighbors in getting the clean up of their properties underway.

“They’ve been great,” Lewis Garrison said. “We must have had 40 people up here on Wednesday afternoon helping us clear the debris from the barn.”

By late May 1983, Garrison and several other area farmers affected by the storm became eligible for low interest loans from the Farmers’ Home Administration. Insurance helped others in the cost of rebuilding or repairs.

If it wasn’t the twisters wreaking havoc in our region on May 2, 1983, heavy rains and melting snow added to some area residents’ woes.

Water moved over its banks on Canadarago Lake and into camps and trailers in the area. Most of these were unoccupied and owned by out-of-town residents, used as second homes in the summer months.

Ida Gorney, who lived at the corner of state Route 28 and Cook’s Road at the time, said she had never seen the water so high “since I moved here in 1962.”

Cleanup from the flood damage soon began.

This weekend: Some interesting efforts were made by local residents to make money during May 1933.

City Historian Mark Simonson’s column appears twice weekly. On Saturdays, his column focuses on the area during the Depression and before. His Monday columns address local history after the Depression. If you have feedback or ideas about the column, write to him at The Daily Star, or email him at simmark@stny.rr.com. His website is www.oneontahistorian.com.

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