NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – They say home is where the heart is, and for one Westchester family, raging waters running through their home doesn’t make it any less beloved.
For three generations, the Kirby family of Rye has weathered floodwaters and they told CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois that they wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else.
Tim Kirby and his family have lived in their Orchard Street home for 60 years which has been flooded before. In fact, CBS 2 reported on the Kirbys during the flood of 2007.
And although Kirby is used to weathering storms, he and his wife spent two days preparing for Hurricane Irene.
“I was panicked, frantically trying to get as much stuff as I could onto the second floor because I thought it was gonna get real bad,” Kirby said.
And it did. Kirby said the worst of the damage occurred when the basement was entirely filled and high tide was still hours away.
But then Kirby caught a break. “Three hours left to high tide and for some reason, maybe I was praying a lot, it stopped and it didn’t go any higher,” Kirby said.
Even though Kirby caught a break with the tide stopping, the damage to his family’s home was extensive. Kirby said nearly all the floors will need to be replaced and there are weeks of heavy cleaning ahead, but is thankful this was not the worst. “I’m thinking that we’re lucky we didn’t lose furniture. In 2007 we lost everything.”
The waters of Rye Brook are now calm and Kirby said he knows they are sure to rise again, but the ties to the family homestead run deep.
And the Kirby family is staying put.
“I sleep in my grandma’s old bedroom and she passed away at 108 years old,” said Kirby. “We love Rye and we love the house — it has sentimental value to us so we’ll be OK.”
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