Upcoming Events in Middletown

Local grocery stores prepare for a siege

Above: Sandbags surrounding the Boiceville IGA Supermarket. Photo by Jen Dragon.

Last year, Irene's floods tore through the heart of the Boiceville commercial district -- and the supermarket at the center of it. The Boiceville IGA Supermarket suffered over a million dollars' worth of flood damage from Irene, and was closed for over a month.

With Sandy on the way, workers were at the store on Sunday sandbagging to protect the building from more flooding. Reader Jen Dragon took some photos at the scene (above and below).

In Margaretville, the Freshtown, whose building forms a natural dam across the East Branch when it's at major flood stage, was even more badly hit by Irene. It took nine months for the supermarket, which opened again in May, to be rebuilt.  Read more

Obama declares federal emergency in New York State; deploys FEMA

Tonight, President Obama granted New York State's request for a federal emergency declaration. The declaration will release federal resources in advance of Hurricane Sandy's arrival in the Catskills on Monday, and allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund and help coordinate the relief and response effort. 

Press release from President Obama

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal emergency aid has been made available to the State of New York to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Sandy beginning on October 27, 2012, and continuing.  Read more

Wind from the east will "stress the trees in an unusual manner"

In an email sent this afternoon, Ulster County Emergency Services Director Arthur Snyder wrote that Ulster County is now under a "high wind warning," partially because the storm winds will be coming from the east, an unusual direction. That will "stress the trees in an unusual manner," he writes:  Read more

Flood watch and high wind warning issued for Catskills from now through Tuesday

Last night, the New York Office of Emergency Management, along with the National Weather Service offices in Albany and Binghamton, issued a high wind warning and a flood watch for the next 48 hours for all five counties in the Catskills region.

Arthur R. Snyder, the director of Ulster County Emergency Communication, sent us a concise explanation of what those warnings mean:  Read more

National Guard mobilized to respond to Sandy; 200 soldiers activated in Southern Tier

Governor Andrew Cuomo just announced that he has mobilized 1,175 members of the National Guard to stand by at posts across the state to prepare for Hurricane Sandy. For the Catskills region, the deployment includes 200 soliders who will go on duty at armories in Binghamton, Walton and Horseheads tomorrow. Additional troops and supplies will be standing by at the Camp Smith Training Site north of Peekskill.

The mobilization is part of a statewide effort that includes soldiers in New York City and on Long Island. Here's the full press release with info:

Up to 1,175 Troops Will Respond in NYC, Long Island, Hudson Valley, Southern Tier   Read more

Letter to the Editor: Rosa is "clear choice"

To the Editor:

As we all know, Judge Carl Becker is running for re-election as county judge. This is a TEN year term. By law, Judge Becker will be required to retire halfway through his term, serving at the most only six years of a ten year term. If reelected, once he retires, the State will appoint someone to fill the remainder of his term until a special election can be held. And that someone could be from ANYWHERE in the state.

I have also seen numerous letters stating that Judge Becker “created’ the Drug Court, as stated in the letter from Ian Lamont. By no means, did Judge Becker ”create” the Drug Court. This was state mandated program and was required by law. And Judge Becker tried to foist the Drug Court onto the Delhi Court. This was unsuccessful.

Why vote for someone who can only do half the job? Judge Becker will be receiving two pensions, one for his time working for DSS, and one for his time as County Judge. Clearly Judge Becker is more interested in padding his pension than serving the people of Delaware County.  Read more

Letter to the Editor: Judge Becker has "legal discernment"

Dear Editor:

Over the course of the summer I had the opportunity to intern at the Delaware County Courthouse, where I audited trials and hearings in Judge Carl Becker’s courtroom. Most people would not 'enjoy' auditing court proceedings, but for a law student the experience vivifies the dry case reports which are prescribed reading. Parties in the dispute become more than ink on paper: they become faces with real lives and futures at stake. Justice and judicial decisions are not merely abstract fodder for legal analysis, but directly impact the trajectory of individuals and communities.  Read more

Ambulance captain tells Catskills residents: Get prescriptions filled now

Photo by Flickr user Dvortygirl. Published under Creative Commons license.

Rich Muellerleile, captain of the Shandaken Ambulance Service (and author of the Watershed Post's safety column, Stayin' Alive), has a message for Catskills residents: If you need medication, make sure you have at least a week's supply on hand now.

"If you have meds that you're going to need to order, put the order in now," he said.

For people living on remote roads or behind private bridges, the threat of being cut off from the outside world by flooding is very real. During the Irene floods, residents in Shandaken's Oliverea Valley were stranded for days after floodwaters cut a 50-foot ravine across Oliverea Road.

Shandaken first responders were able to get essential medications to stranded people with ATVs during Irene, but the effort taxed the department to its limits, Muellerleile said.  Read more

Storm preparedness: Middletown

Middletown, a Delaware County town whose villages of Fleischmanns and Margaretville were both hard-hit by Irene, is already laying plans for emergency communication during next week's expected storm. The town website will be posting emergency updates, and if a state of emergency is declared, recorded information will be available on a new emergency phone line.

A press release issued by the town of Middletown on Friday, October 26:

Margaretville, NY — The Town of Middletown has a section on its website and a dedicated hotline providing resident information in the event of an emergency.

The emergency link on the Town’s website is: http://middletowndelawarecountyny.org/index.php/emergency/

The emergency phone number is 845 586-1115; this phone will be operational only after an emergency declaration has been made; a Facebook page has also been created (Middletown Delaware County).  Read more

Gov. declares state of emergency to prepare for Hurricane Sandy (and nixes preparedness conference)

Governor Andrew Cuomo just declared a state of emergency in New York as the region braces for the impact of Hurricane Sandy early next week. The move allows Cuomo to coordinate the emergency response effort. 

In a long press release from Cuomo's office about storm preparations, some details about the Catskills stand out. The New York Power Authority has lowered its water level at its Blenheim-Gilboa reservoir to its minimum depth in an attempt to control flooding downstream. And the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are working together to coodinate an emergency drawdown of the Schoharie Reservoir and the Ashokan Reservoir in an attempt to ease pressure on the Gilboa Dam in Schoharie County.

Here's the info from Cuomo's press release:   Read more