The latest from Prattsville

Above: A contractor clearing storm debris from DEP land in Prattsville along the Schoharie Creek. Photo provided by the DEP.

There's a lot happening in the Greene County town of Prattsville. The town, which was walloped by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, has a new website, We welcome it with loud huzzahs.

Jenn Schumann, the host of the WIOX 91.3FM morning show Java with Jenn and Friends, sent us some info about the new website last week:

This website includes a news/events page which will keep you up-to-date with what is happening in and around town. This page includes links to major stories about flooding and anything else that have come up since the big flood.

If you are looking for a little history or just something to do, you can find it all on the pages of  About Prattsville will give you a history of how Prattsville came to be and how it was flooded on August 28, 2011. The Rebuilding page has links to Prattsville Action plan as well as a link to follow the progress. They are also compiling a database of pictures from the flood which is easily found at the bottom of the Rebuilding page. Maybe you just want to support businesses in the area, click on Businesses for a directory of local business. There are links to local attractions including Zadock Pratt Museum, Pratt Rock Park and Houses of Worship.

Before leaving this beautifully designed and user friendly site check out how you can help today on the “How to Help” page.

In other Prattsville news, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced last week that it is reclassifying 126 acres of land alongside the Schoharie Creek to allow more public access and recreation.

The land, which used to require a permit to access, will now be accessible to the public without a permit. The press release also pointed out that the DEP has hired a contractor to clean debris off those acres of land, and included warm statements from Prattsville and DEP officials alike:

"The City has stepped up to deal with the debris jams that we felt could threaten the hamlet with further flooding this winter, which we appreciate," said Town of Prattsville Supervisor Kory O'Hara.

"This will be a great asset to the Town as we rebuild," said ‘Rebuild Prattsville' Steering Committee Chairman Kevin Piccoli. "An integral aspect of the Town's plan is to enhance recreational capabilities, and this is a perfect fit for that approach."

On the not-so-warm-and-fuzzy front, news broke this week that a Prattsville attorney, David Rikard, has taken a step towards suing the DEP for its role in managing the lands that flooded so badly during the storms. The Catskill Mountain News (subscription only) has the story:

A Prattsville attorney has filed a Notice of Claim preserving the right to pursue legal action against the state and New York City for damages caused by the August 28 flood.

David Rikard filed Notice in state Supreme Court on behalf of “all citizens, residents or other entities of the communities or properties with the NYC ‘West of Hudson Watershed’ who suffered losses in the flood.”

According to the article, Rikard's Prattsville office and home were destroyed during the flood, and he believes that the DEP and other agencies are at least partly to blame.