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Hurricane Irene Damage to the Catskill Mountains

New postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:18 pm
by mike
Note from the Moderator:
If you have information or pictures, please Email us at:

Rt 23 from East Windham to Windham has road damage on the west bound lane. On the 27th, one 4x4 pickup didn't see the opening and was pulled into 5' deep ditch. Water then engulfed the truck. It was later recovered in good condition, but wet. On the 28th a truck didn't see the asphalt sticking up and ripped open the side wall of his tires.

The side route into Hensonville, NY was severely flooded. The road is missing in a couple sections. Will be quite some time before this is fixed.

Inside Hensonville, NY the 60" culvert that runs under the town could not handle the water load and overflowed and destroyed some buildings. Other buildings were flooded

Windham had 3-4' water level running through the town. The west side of the town had the most damage. Some of the school buses were washed away in the flooding. It is uncertain when the Windham School is going to open.

Little is known about the extent of the damage to Prattsville. But, some are reporting that parts of the town were washed away. The trail park is believed to have been wiped out. There was also a rescue of people in a motel. The outcome is not known. But, there may have been some deaths there.

No power from Acra to Prattsville.

It has been reported that two deaths happen around Maplecrest. One body has been recovered (Lorraine Osborn). Her son went to the garage to get the car, and when he came back for his mother, the house was one. Her body was found on the 28th. One other person is missing and presumed dead.

An engineer reported that they believed that the Batavia Kill Reservoir was going to break. But, it was later determined that the leak was not structural.

An engineer reported that they believed that the Gilboa Dam might collapse. Later determined that it was okay.

The road above Maplecrest to the Blackhead Mountains is reporting severe damage. Someone reported that you can get part way in. But, a bridge is out.

Minor road damage to Rt 296

Hunter, NY didn't get a lot of damage. The bridge to Hunter Mtn ski bowl was closed. The sidewalk just west of the bridge collapsed in the creek. The house next to the bridge was listing to fall into the Schoharie Creek.

Tannersville had the stream overflow in the center of town and flooded some of the businesses. Just below there, was major flooding and road damage. You can get to Platte Clove from the road further down towards Hunter.

Haines Falls did okay.

Rt 23a was closed on the 27th due to flooding. When South Lake gets too full, it can overflow into the parking lot. If it overflows too long it can cause the earthen dam to collapse. Hence the closing of Rt 23a. Further down towards Moore's Bridge is a section of road that is in poor shape, and there was a concern. that Rt 23a might collapse.

It is reported that there is a bridge out in Palenville, NY. Not sure which one. We couldn't get there. But, I understand the conditions there are severe.

Rt 214 was closed to Phoenicia. It was reported that there is one death in Lanesville, NY. We understand that Phoenicia had severe damage. Just don't know what damager there was. Email us if you have more information.

Margaretville, NY was reported to have flooded according to CNN. We don't know much more then that.

Many in Greene and Ulster County do not have power, TV, land lines, or Internet. Land lines received the least amount of damage. Thankfully, the strike is over for now. Otherwise, it would be worse. Cell towers also seem to be doing well, but in heavy usage. Central Hudson's phones are being overwhelmed.

On the 27th, the Thruway was closed from NYC to Albany. A few small sections were open. I was lucky to go from Catskill to Coxsackie. One was the ONLY person on the Thruway in either direction.

Power is reported to be out in many parts of Greene and Ulster County. May not have power until later in the week.

It is reported that there was 10-15" of rain on the Mountaintop, but less wind damage.

The Eastern Escarpment received very high winds, but less rain.

21,100 people are without power in Greene County, and no ETA when they may get power again.

Many people in NYC, NJ, and Long Island had mandatory evacuations, and many ventured to the Catskill Mountains believing that they would be spared. Most of those people ended up where the most severe damage occurred. Many roads back to NYC are closed, so some feel stranded. Many restaurants don't have power. The McDonalds in Cairo was overwhelmed with people using WiFi and eating. Waits for food were 1/2 to 3/4 hour.

If you have more information, please contact us. Pictures or information is desired.

The Daily Mail has some excellent photos:

Here are some of the pictures of the damage to the Catskill Mountains from Hurricane Irene on August 27-28, 2011:

Road damage on Rt 23 from East Windham to Windham

Trail to WHP from Rt 23 - Bridge is gone

Bastion Falls off Rt 23a after water went down

Bastion Falls off Rt 23a after water went down

Storage Lockers / Gas station on Rt 23 - Just off Thruway exit 21 - Water was running over Rt 23

Not everyone was unhappy with Hurricane Irene

Road damage coming into Hensonville, NY

Road damage to Maplecrest and the Blackhead Mountains.

When you come to the Y in the road - make sure you go the right way

House that came off it's foundation a floated down to the Windham Bridge - Water was over this bridge

Tree debris at the Windham gas station

National Guard Helicopter air lifting out stranded people

Downtown Windham

Minor home damage in downtown Windham

Storm damage in downtown Windham

GNH Lumber in downtown Windham

Re: Hurricane Irene Damage to the Catskill Mountains

New postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:50 pm
by SNEAKers

Thanks for the report. I'm glad to hear you're safe, but this is horrible... Much worse than I expected it would be. My first Catskill hike was WHP and I crossed that little bridge. There was plenty of clearance so that really gives a scale as to how high the water must have been. Do you know if the country store in Windham is still there? The people there were so friendly and I made it a point to visit almost everytime I was up there.

There's little any individual can do to fix this amount of damage, but I will be driving up on Friday evening. Is there anything you can see someone bringing or doing that would help the people up there? If so, please let me know and I will do as much as I possibly can whether it's food, clothes, anything...

Re: Hurricane Irene Damage to the Catskill Mountains

New postPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:10 pm
by SNEAKers
Sorry for the double post, but was going through a few pictures doing some comparisons...

If you look at Mike's second picture of Bastion Falls you can see a rock sticking out of the top of the falls. That is the same rock that is in this picture I took after a rainfall of approximately 3 inches over a two day period... It is scary how high the water is in Mike's picture especially considering that is after the water went down...

See the rock 1/3 from the left of the frame and 1/3rd from the top of the frame?


Re: Hurricane Irene Damage to the Catskill Mountains

New postPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:06 am
by mike
The country store should be okay. Most of the damage was on the west side of town. They probably have water damage.

Right now we are looking for people to report back to us any trail damage they find. Missing bridges, trees down, etc. Trying to put together everything that needs to be done, so it can be prioritized.

The comparison was great. I should have included it, but forgot. Sometimes it is hard to imagine what it looked like under normal conditions.

Re: Hurricane Irene Damage to the Catskill Mountains

New postPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:15 am
by SNEAKers
Thanks Mike... If you know of anything I can do to help please let me know (I understand that Friday will probably feel like an eternity to some, but I can't get there any sooner because of work). I am going to try Sugarloaf on Saturday and will do the usual report. I'll pay extra attention to anything that appears to be damage from the storm.

Re: Hurricane Irene Damage to the Catskill Mountains

New postPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:02 am
by mike
To access the Trail Head, you cannot come up Rt 23a (maybe by Friday). You also cannot take Rt 16 from the center of Tannersville. You have to access it from Bloomers Road (past Tannersville and towards Hunter). Platte Clove Road is open from Saugerties.

Right now the only way to access the Mountaintop is from Rt 23 or Platte Clove Road. All other routes are closed at this time.

Damage will be obvious.

Re: Hurricane Irene Damage to the Catskill Mountains

New postPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:19 am
by dave
Platte Clove Road is closed.
Rt 23a just opened in one lane.

Re: Hurricane Irene Damage to the Catskill Mountains

New postPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:20 am
by SNEAKers
Thanks for the heads up... I meant I will focus on damage along the trail and document as best as possible (if the trail is even passable). I'll let you know what route I use to get there as well.

Re: Hurricane Irene Damage to the Catskill Mountains

New postPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:33 am
by dosperros
Tragic. So sorry for those that have suffered loss.

I'm out of the country and can't seem to be able to get info on E Jewett. Friends on Colgate rd.
My property is in Jewett and was contacted by neighbors that all is fine.

Just saw this... ... re=related

Re: Hurricane Irene Damage to the Catskill Mountains

New postPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:44 pm
by crzybkr4
Oh my....

We were just there a couple of weekends ago staying at Albergo Allegria on Rt. 296 in Windham. That B&B has a special place in our lives. My wife and I went there on our first weekend getaway together almost ten years ago and only now got a chance to go back. We hiked the Acra Loop trail.

Anyone knows if Albergo Allegria and other hotels in the neighborhood made out ok ?

Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents and businesses of Windham!