Irene in upstate: Some get lucky, some are devastated

Aug 29

Fields along Route 10 as you leave Delhi.

Hurricane Irene came and went and left quite a path of destruction. Though I believe it was actually a “Tropical Storm” when it came through upstate New York, it wreaked some major damage.

My town, which has often been part of several towns who can feel the wrath of these things decently hard, wasn’t too bad from what I’ve seen and heard. Some basements flooded and probably a few other things, but in the big scheme of things, it wasn’t bad. Same with Oneonta and most areas east. I haven’t heard much about Walton, which is usually a town that gets hit very hard. As of late Sunday night, it seemed much calmer than normal.

We got lucky, it seems

The Legion fields apparently got worse as the day went on.

But as we go further into the Catskills, the same can’t be said.

Margaretville, which is often the victim of these storms was hammered. As was Fleischmanns. Reading stories and such, places such as Windham, Tannersville, Prattsville etc., have experienced an amazing amount of destruction. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to look through Twitter feeds and Facebook posts and see what devastation this is causing.

For those of you who have been to Margaretville, you’ll be able to see how bad the village is. Many of these videos have been all over Twitter, Facebook and blogs, so you may have already seen them.

YouTube Preview Image

To see more, go check out YouTube as there are many videos from the storm and aftermath.

Since the last major flood to hit the area in 2006, there have been a lot of pushes in technology. Though the digital age was in full effect back then, this storm really seemed to utilize the digital age. When the 2006 floods hit, I was in Montreal under sunny skies, so it was odd knowing what was going on. I used the website of the local daily to try and keep pace, as well as phone calls and such.

This storm showed how media has changed in that amount of time.

Many props has to be given to The Watershed Post, an online area news source.

The Post has done a wonderful job of coverage, using its own team as well as reader comments, posts, photos and videos. The people at the Post seem to scour the Internet for reports and images, make numerous calls and have a live blog set up for immediate updates. Other news sources in the area couldn’t compete or compare as occasional updates on roads being closed or a state of emergency being declared can’t compete with real-time stories, images and updates.

The Post has continued its excellent coverage into today, so go there to check out the latest reports from area towns and municipalities about what is going on.

I haven’t seen the destruction first hand as county roads are closed. I’ve heard from a few people over that way, however, and it sounds awful. Be safe over there, people.

The one good thing is that the weather for the next week is supposed to be decent. So hopefully that will allow needed people to get to these towns, assess damage and get the repair part underway. These areas are going to need time and help to rebuild and hopefully things will go smoothly.

The damage isn’t just through New York though. Videos and images I’ve seen from Vermont are incredible and heartbreaking. One video I saw on showed one of the many historical and beautiful covered bridges in the state being washed away.

Old Blenheim Bridge in 2008.

I’ve also heard reports that the Old Blenheim Bridge, a covered bridge near all the havoc not far from me, has been washed away. That’s sad as it’s a remarkable bridge (though only able to be used by foot now) and there aren’t many historic covered bridges remaining in the state.

UPDATE: I’ve tracked down the video on YouTube of the Vermont covered bridge going into the river. For those of you who are fans of covered bridges, this is quite sad and the reactions of those videoing the situation shows that as well. This is the Bartonsville Covered Bridge.

YouTube Preview Image

These are times that prove how destructive Mother Nature can be. The images and videos are incredible, but take a moment to realize how many people’s lives have been thrown upside down because of this storm. Mother Nature’s fury can be seen and felt by many and it’s a shame when things like this happen. Many people got out of this story somewhat lucky, but the same can’t be said for a lot of others. I implore everyone to keep that in mind when storms like this luckily miss or make landfall in other parts of the country. Keep in mind that no matter what, the results can impact someone in very bad ways and hopefully we don’t see another one like this for a very long time — in any part of the country.

Let this also be a reminder of how powerful water can be. It really is amazing to see how fast and hard weather can create damage.

Flickr member AustinHorse has a series of images that show the destruction in Windham. It’s worth taking a peek. Crazy what it looks like after the water has gone away.

Here are a couple of more shots I took around Delhi, but again, they aren’t anywhere near as bad as the ones I’ve seen through the Internet in other towns.

Fitch's Bridge with the river getting close to the bottom.

Back River Road.

Water runs across the road near Sherwoods Road Bridge.

Though it looks calm because of the long exposure, the river going under the Kingston Street bridges was raging.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook by clicking the button on the right side of the page!



One comment

  1. Awesome blog PJ….

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge