Dock party at the Dodds’

Carolyn and Charlie Dodd may have lost family heirlooms, furniture and photographs to Hurricane Sandy, but they still have their sense of humor.

So “Dock Party at the Dodds'” is how she titled the picture of her backyard deck that ripped off its foundation, floated atop floodwaters to rest against their boathouse.

Besides the crawlspace flooding, their waterfront home on Long Island had four feet of water on the first floor.

“It’s 40 years. You don’t realize how much stuff you accumulate in 40 years,” said Dodd, an Amityville teacher and former local president who retired this June. Her husband, Charlie, who also taught and served as a local union president in Hauppauge, retired about 10 years ago. “Also, the water did not reach the second floor, so it’s filled with boxes and we just have the first floor to deal with.”

Here’s what 40 years and a flood looks like.

Besides the sense of humor, gratitude also has helped them to get through having to gut the entire first floor of their home, “We’re lucky though. My daughter only had water in the basement and she has an extra room so we have a place to stay,” Carolyn said recently when reached by phone.

“Everything has to go,” Dodd said. “We were told you can’t keep things, even sentimental things, because of contamination, bacteria and things like that. Everyone is in the same situation. Everyone has their whole lives out on the street.”

Actually, the Dodds were able to keep a few things from the trash pile. Amidst the flooding and destroyed furniture, all of the china and crystal from Charlie Dodd’s grandmother survived without a scratch.

Here’s what the Dodd house looks like now.

Still Carolyn was grateful for many things this Thanksgiving.

“Of course I’m thankful my family is safe, but I’m also thankful so many of our neighbors have helped out. They’ve organized cleanup crews and collections. Then we’ve had so much help from so many NYSUT locals and people.”

And help is coming from across the nation.

“We had two trucks come to Amityville, filled with 120,000 pounds of supplies from folks in the New Orleans area because they remembered how we sent donations to them after Hurricane Katrina,” Dodd said.

NYSUT will again be sponsoring a bus trip this Saturday for volunteers to help in the clean-up efforts in storm-stricken areas.

The bus will leave NYSUT Headquarters at 800 Troy-Schenectady Road in Latham at 6 a.m. It is expected to return at approximately 4 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering your time, please contact Capital District Regional Office Director Linda Stanczik at or at (518) 783-7977. Seats will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.

Donations are still needed for the NYSUT disaster relief fund. You can donate online by following this link or you can send a check, payable to NYSUT Disaster Relief Fund, to NYSUT  Accounting Dept. Attn: Jeff Lockwood, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110.

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