Flood watch in effect for Catskills

Above: A graphic produced Friday morning by the National Weather Service in Albany, showing widespread flood watches west of the Hudson River. 

Flood watches are in effect across the Catskills region for Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, as heavy rains move into the area.

A slow-moving band of rain is moving from west to east, and is expected to drop an inch or two on the Catskills region before moving on. Hudson Valley Weather is predicting drier weather for the upcoming weekend.

If you have a rain gauge, the National Weather Service in Binghamton is looking for rainfall reports.  Read more

Route 42 in Lexington closed after mudslide

Above: A landslide on a steep bank overlooking Route 42 in Lexington. Photo by Lissa Harris.

A stretch of Route 42 in Greene County was shut down on Thursday morning after a mudslide, and remains closed. Traffic has been shut down from Spruceton Road in Lexington to the Ulster County line, and drivers are being detoured around the area via Route 23A and Route 214

The mudslide was discovered around 9:40 a.m., according to Bryan Viggiani, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT). 

On Thursday afternoon, Viggiani said the DOT had staff at the site of the mudslide assessing the situation, and more were en route to the site. It is unclear when the road will be re-opened, he said.  Read more

Celebrate the Schoharie watershed with free tours, workshops, and walks

Above: Kids investigate stream creatures during a water workshop, which will take place on Tuesday, May 20 in Tannersville this year. Photo via the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District. 

The four-mile Schoharie Reservoir, created by the 88-year-old Gilboa Dam, is the most visible part of the 315-square-mile Schoharie watershed, which covers most of the craggy mountaintop region of Greene County. The watershed is full of fast-moving streams with Dutch names: Batavia Kill, East Kill, West Kill, Bear Kill, and Manor Kill are a few, all of which drain into the Schoharie Creek.  Read more

Table limit: New York State releases minimum investment figures for casinos

Photo by Flickr user Mark Menzies; published under Creative Commons license.

Casino developers hoping to land one of four prized licenses from New York State will have to prove that they're investing enough in the project. But although the state's minimum investment figures are in the hundreds of millions of dollars, they're not likely to prove an obstacle to deep-pocketed casino developers, many of whom have already unveiled plans to spend much more than the state's required minimum figures.  Read more

Trowel foul: Man arrested for assault at Athens construction site

A Cobleskill man has been jailed on assault and weapon charges after an incident at an Athens construction site, in which police say he struck a man in the head with a masonry trowel. 

Arrested on Friday was 44-year-old Glen Gallup, who faces charges of second-degree assault -- a felony -- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. 

Police say that during a fight with another man at the construction site, Gallup struck the man in the head with the trowel, causing a "severe laceration." The victim was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released. 

Gallup was arraigned in Athens town court and remanded to the Greene County Jail without bail. 

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Four injured in Trailways bus crash

Above: An injured victim being treated at the scene of this morning's bus accident on Route 17 in Ramsey, N.J. Photos by Boyd A. Loving; courtesy of the Cliffview Pilot.

A flying car wheel smashed through the windshield of a Pine Hill Trailways bus bound from Kingston to Manhattan on Route 17 around 7:30 this morning, injuring four people, according to several downstate media reports. 

The wheel flew off a Lexus that was driving north, in the opposite direction from the bus, the Cliffview Pilot reports. Two people aboard the bus were critically injured in the accident, and two others sustained head injuries.

One of the injured victims was airlifted to a hospital, and a few others were transported by ambulance, NorthJersey.com reports.  Read more

From the Forest: Fruitful Forests

By Ryan Trapani

This spring I spent a lot of time pruning old apple trees. They were neglected old trees that either the previous landowner planted or the current one forgot about, or simply a seedling that began its life through a deer’s rumen. In any case, there they were. They were alive and managed to fruit every other year or so. Trees like these may seem trivial, but to wildlife – and some eager apple pickers – they serve an extremely beneficial role. Deer, for instance, rely upon apple trees immensely. Some trees hold onto their apples longer than others and can feed deer well into the winter when food reserves are at their lowest. Everything seems to like apple trees. Birds can take advantage of apples while still hanging on the tree. Once the fruit falls, all partake. Rabbits and voles eat the bark. Deer eat any buds or twigs they can reach. Insects and diseases feast on the leaves, fruit or bark as well. Deer hunters who choose not to eat the fruit can instead wait nearby and harvest a deer or bear on their way to and from the trees.   Read more

New York State bans wild boar hunting

Above: A trailcam in Delaware County catches a nocturnal glimpse of an elusive wild boar. Photo taken in August 2013; courtesy of USDA APHIS.

A statewide ban on the hunting and trapping of feral swine -- also known as wild boars or Eurasian boars -- went into effect on Monday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced in a press release

Until recently, boars were largely unknown to New York State, even as burgeoning populations of wild pigs wreaked over a billion dollars' worth of destruction a year across other parts of the country. But in recent years, feral swine have been found breeding in the wild in a few parts of New York State, the descendants of boars that escaped from private "canned" hunting preserves. 

Many other states have encouraged the hunting of wild boars in an effort to control their populations, but without much success. Banning the hunting of an animal that state officials want to rid the landscape of seems paradoxical. But scientists who study the animals say that allowing private hunting can interfere with state-sanctioned efforts to bait and trap boars, and has even encouraged hunters to release more of the animals into the wild for sport.

  Read more

Flood watch in effect across Catskills

Above: A graphic from the National Weather Service in Binghamton, showing the flood watch area across upstate New York and Pennsylvania that is in effect Wednesday through early Thursday morning. 

Heavy rains are in the forecast for eastern New York and Pennsylvania Wednesday afternoon and evening, prompting the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue flood watches across the Catskills region.

The heaviest rainfall is expected to arrive this evening and overnight, with between 1.5 and 4 inches of rain forecast for the Catskills. Forecasters at NWS and Hudson Valley Weather say the eastern Catskills will get the most rain, with lower totals expected for the western end of the region.   Read more


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