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Flash flooding hits western Catskills

Lightning from a thunderstorm on Wednesday, May 29, taken between Grand Gorge and Stamford. Photo by Michelle Ogborn; shared on the Watershed Post's Facebook page.

A fierce rainstorm that swept through upstate New York on Wednesday night caused flash flooding in several spots in the Western Catskills, as the heavy rains swelled small creeks and ditches. 

Parts of Delaware and Schoharie County, where the rainfall was hardest, got over two inches of rain over the course of the two- to three-hour storm. According to data from the National Weather Service, the Schoharie County town of Jefferson had 2.4 inches. In the hamlet of Meridale, just outside of Delhi, rainfall was reportedly 2.25 inches.

The West Branch of the Delaware River also overflowed its banks in some spots. But the flash flooding from smaller creeks as they were overwhelmed with rainfall caused more problems than the rise in larger rivers, according to Richard Bell, director of Delaware County Emergency Services.  Read more

Tornado warning issued for eastern Delaware County

*Update, 8:45pm: The tornado warning has been cancelled:



The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for eastern Delaware County. The warning, issued at 8:10pm, is in effect until 9:15pm. 

From the NWS warning:


Letter to the Editor: Please join the conversation on the 29th!

To the editor:

We, the elected municipal officials of the Towns and Villages in Ulster, Greene and Delaware Counties, are writing to our regional media outlets, DEC and New York State officials in support of the Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park. We represent our municipalities and understand the powerful positive impact - the needed impact – this Resort, and the build-out of Belleayre Mt. Ski Center, can and will have on our area. We have also seen the long, slow and painful decline of our mountain Main Streets and communities. Hunting and fishing licenses in NYS, along with visits to our area, have dropped over 20% in the last 10 years, our population is shrinking, and lodging units are down 90% since the 50s and 60s, let alone a century ago. Additionally the NYC DEP is aggressively purchasing local properties that will forever be un-developable, further limiting our choices and potential to expand and preserve for the next generations of native dwellers.  Read more

2013 Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Photo Contest

This spring, Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room sponsored our Catskills-wide photo contest, in which over 60 readers from around the region sent us images of their favorite Catskills outdoor experiences.

After much deliberation, our seven-person jury loved these winners.

The grand prize winner: “East Branch Delaware” by Chris Faulkner. Chris wins a dinner for two at the Peekamoose.

   Read more

It's here: The 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide

Thanks to dozens of advertisers, our excellent freelancers and contributors, and a team of graphics and creative specialists, we've finished the 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide.

Print copies hit the streets today, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. (Sure, I got soaked by chilly rain as I delivered print editions of the guide this morning, but it's still the official summer kick-off weekend, drizzle be damned.) 

And the online version of the guide, which features a huge amount of extended material that we couldn't cram into 40 pages of print, is live. Just a few of the goodies in store:  Read more

Guide to a Catskills Memorial Day Weekend

Above: Hundreds of rubber duckies take to the waters of Gooseberry Creek in the Tannersville Rubber Duck Race & Crazy Boat Race and Festival on May 25. Photo via the Great Northern Catskills website

Memorial Day weekend in the Catskills abounds with parades, yard sales, backyard barbecues…and a vast and lively array of special events to be enjoyed.

Many towns in the region will be holding their annual Memorial Day parades, but that's not all that's going on this weekend by a long shot. Here’s the Watershed Post's guide to the best of the weekend's unofficial festivities. For a full list of Memorial Day events, including parades, see our Memorial Day events calendar


Most local school budgets pass

On Tuesday, May 21, New York State voters went to the polls to decide the fate of local school budgets and elect members to school boards.

Most budgets throughout the five-county Catskills region passed. A few were voted down, and will now have 30 days to revise their budgets and put them up for a second vote. If a school's budget is voted down twice, the school must adopt a contingency budget subject to strict caps.  Read more

Tornado warning issued for Delaware, Sullivan counties

The National Weather Service in Binghamton has issued a tornado warning for south central Delaware County and northwestern Sullivan County, effective from 1:09pm to 1:45pm.

From a message posted on NY-Alert:

At 108 PM EDT...National Weather Service Doppler Radar Indicated A Severe Thunderstorm Capable Of Producing A Tornado 9 Miles West Of Roscoe...Moving East At 25 Mph. * The Storm Capable Of Producing The Tornado Will Be Near... Roscoe By 130 PM EDT... Hazel By 135 PM EDT... Livingston Manor By 140 PM EDT... Parksville By 145 PM EDT... When You Can Do So Safely...Please Report Hail...Or Damaging Winds To The National Weather Service By Calling Toll Free At 1-888-603-1402...Or By Email At [email protected].

Update: A second tornado warning was issued for Sullivan County at 1:39pm, effective til 2:15pm:  Read more

Severe thunderstorm watch issued across New York State

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center has issued a severe thunderstorm watch, effective until 9pm, for 45 counties in New York State as well as northwest Connecticut, western Massachusetts, and southern Vermont.

The NWS warns that thunderstorms in the region may be accompanied by large hail -- up to two inches across - and winds of up to 70 miles per hour.

The alert was issued at 1:40pm. Included in the severe thunderstorm watch are all five counties of the Catskills region: Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster. 

A Facebook page to keep an eye on as the storms develop: Hudson Valley Weather, whose readers often submit reports of conditions on the ground when severe weather develops.

Let us know, too: Post your weather reports in a comment below, or email them to [email protected]. (If you've got hail, send us photos!)  Read more

Emerald ash borer found in Delaware and Otsego counties

Above: A state Department of Environmental Conservation map showing emerald ash borer distribution in New York State. For a larger version, visit the DEC's website

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced Monday that emerald ash borer has been found for the first time in Delaware and Otsego counties. The emerald ash borer, a Asian beetle that was first found in the U.S. in 2002, is poised to virtually eliminate ash trees from Northeastern forests, including New York State's more than 900 million ash trees, if allowed to spread unchecked.

The beetles were recently found in an area near the village of Unadilla, which lies on the border between Delaware and Otsego counties. The infestation was reported by a timber harvester working in a private woodlot, the first report of the insect from a commercial woodlot.  Read more