|I survived Hurricane Irene and all I got was...
||[Aug. 31st, 2011|07:47 pm]
the catskills samurai
PICTURED: state of the feral
artwork by and ungraciously stolen from firstname.lastname@example.org
So Irene has come and gone, with a whole lot of damage done to the surrounding area. While New York City and Long Island are still preening about because they "survived the worst of it" and "they were so tough" while others have tweeted about "Irene being overhyped," I live up in the areas that they're mentioning in New York-- the upstate areas that have been devastated by the storm. I'd talked about it a lot on Facebook, too, trying to gather some info and more photos together from others and family and friends, but it's... it's hard.
My house was mercifully spared the wrath of the storm, but there was a lot of damage to the road just above our driveway-- it was saved due to my father's intervention and some quick trench-digging with his front-end loader/backhoe attachments on his farm tractor. The driveway's beaten up pretty bad either way, though, and a few of the roads out of here are actually in okay condition. I was actually stuck at my aunt's house for the last two days: The storm had done some damage and "dangerously undermined" the bridge on Rt. 990V, which is one of the major roads and bridges that connects Gilboa (affectionately referred to as "Mount Terror" by those I MU* with) to the rest of the county and the world, and after some traffic shenanigans I couldn't get back across the bridge to go home.
We, at least, have power now. A friend of my father's lent us a generator that will basically power the house at near-full capacity for the next few days, though we're trying to be careful about what we run, when, and for how long so that we can maintain the use of this thing for as long as possible. Dad's CPAP machine can run all night now, too, which he hasn't been able to use for days. We have refrigeration again, and basically I am counting my blessings for all the things that happened.
Prattsville is wrecked. Flat-out wrecked. The town is separated into two parts by the Schoharie Creek, and the bridge itself is so severely damaged that I'm not sure if they're even allowing foot traffic across it. O'hara's is gone, homes are washed out and some are sunken halfway under water or mud, and it's just-- it's a wreck. Prattsville was like my second home for years, and I'm to a point where I really can't go dig up photos of it or find videos about it without coming close to breaking down. My uncle's home-in-progress at the top of a hill at the edge of town is safe, but we're probably gonna head over there tomorrow and do more than a cursory once-over to make sure.
Windham is equally wrecked-- the town is, at last report, more or less cut off from the outside world. The roads are destroyed and I'm not sure how emergency vehicles are getting in there at all. I have friends in that neck of the woods, too, and at last word they seem to be okay. It's all still kind of numbing and shocking, even a few days later.
Middleburgh's cleanup is coming along nicely, so far as I know. My cousin Chris Hubbard, the owner of Hubie's, has managed to clean up as much of the restaurant as he can, but from the photos I saw of the building and restaurant, the walk-in freezer was torn out of the back door of the building and the water was some seven feet high before it had finally crested. Aerial photos of the town and the surrounding area in the Schoharie Valley made it look more like a gigantic river or lake with patches of greenery sticking out of it.
There's photos available on the Watershed Post, a blog/news site that's been compiling as much in terms of photos and videos and eyewitness accounts about all of this, and a lot of those photos are just really hard to look at, with the areas that I've been to, and know, and even until recently occasionally passed by. Power is supposed to be restored around here for real around Friday at the earliest, but some of the roads in the actual town of Gilboa-- which is spread out over a very large area-- won't have power until September 7th.
Yesterday was also my birthday.
It's been a long weekend. Recovery is going to be painful, but a lot of people have been pulling together, and I think we're gonna be ok in the long run.