Hurricane Irene

The Watershed Post's collected Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene coverage

On Saturday, August 27, 2011 the Watershed Post launched its coverage of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene and its expected impact on the Catskills region of upstate New York. Below is the text of our homepage as it appeared throughout the Catskills flooding and its aftermath. Our coverage included a town-by-town list of damage, an interactive spreadsheet for tracking people stranded by the storm, a spreadsheet tracking relief resources for flood victims, a map of road closures updated by a volunteer GIS expert, and a live blog that allowed anyone on the site to post a question or information in realtime as the storm hit.

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The Watershed Post's Flood Relief Resources

Updated 10/3/11:

On Saturday, August 27, 2011, the aftermath of Hurricane Irene brought devastating flooding to the Catskills. The Watershed Post is keeping track of relief resources and information on this page and in Google Document spreadsheets, which are linked from this page. Please help us keep things up-to-date by emailing [email protected] with "Relief Resource" in the subject line. To see our full coverage of Hurricane/Tropical storms Irene and Lee , including the now-archived Hurricane Irene live blog, click here. Click here to see Our town-by-town coverage of the storms.

Our Catskill Flooding spreadsheet: Donation and relief centers (click here to open):

  This spreadsheet, which you can open in a separate window by clicking here, is a list of volunteer opportunities and places to give money.

Federal Disaster Relief info:

FEMA New York Hurricane Irene info 

FEMA disaster assistance website: Call (800) 621-3362 or TTY (800) 462-7585 to apply for assistance.

Delaware County Emergency Services disaster guide

FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in the Catskills:

Greene County
Prattsville Town Hall
14517 Route 23 Main Street, 
Prattsville, NY 12468

Schoharie County
Holiday Inn Express
160 Holiday Way, 
Schoharie, NY 12157

Ulster County
Business Resource Center
1061 Development Court, Ulster Avenue, 
Kingston, NY 12401

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Town-by-town Hurricane Irene news roundup

Town-by-town information, sorted by county:

Ulster County


Mount Tremper


Big Indian



- Boiceville

Delaware County


- Arkville

- Margaretville

- Fleischmanns




Colchester (Downsville)


Sullivan County

Rockland (Roscoe and Livingston Manor)

Greene County



- East Jewett




Catskill (Palenville)



Schoharie County

Fulton (Breakabeen)






Albany County

Preston Hollow

Our fastest source for breaking Catskills news is our CoverItLive group liveblog, which is staffed by a crack team of citizen and pro reporters from around the Catskills, and is also pulling from a variety of news sources via Twitter. If we lose power here, we won't be able to update this post, but the liveblog will roll on.  Read more

Three years since Irene

Above: Bill Lonecke with his wife, Barbara (left), and daughter, Cindy (right), standing where their Maplecrest house used to be. It was washed away during Tropical Storm Irene by the Batavia Kill, which is 50 yards away to the right. Photo by Christopher Auger-Domínguez. Read their story in our Faces of the Flood Project, here. 

If you're anything like us here at the Watershed Post, anniversaries sneak up on you.

Three years ago today, Tropical Storm Irene blasted the Catskills with intense flooding, killing several local people and washing away homes and businesses in towns across our region.   Read more

How will you spend $3 million in flood money?

Above: A house near Schoharie, NY after Irene in 2011. Photo by fixBuffalo, via the Watershed Post Flickr pool

Communities across the Catskills have a shot at $3 million each to help them rebuild after the ravages of Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. This month, they are all holding public meetings to ask their residents how they should spend it. (See below for dates and times.) 

The funding comes from the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013. The progam earmarks $750 million in state and federal disaster funds for 102 "severely damaged" communities across the state. 

The severely damaged Catskills communities, according to the governor's list, are:  Read more

Prattsville's MudFest is back, dirtier than ever

Prattsville is the new Woodstock. Above: A scene from the first MudFest, held August 25-26, 2012. Photo from MudFest's Facebook page.

We will pick up the pieces 
Shattered of memories on the ground
We don't know how to give up
Hell yes we're going to rebuild our town
  - Thirteen for Life, "You Gotta Love This Town"

This Friday and Saturday, everybody’s invited to get down and dirty in Prattsville, as the town celebrates its second annual MudFest: proof positive that from catastrophe can come sheer awesome.  Read more


August 23, 2013 - 4:00pm

It’s back!!  Residents of Prattsville invite one and all to the 2nd Annual MudFest on Friday and Saturday, August 23rd & 24th, 2013.  Come celebrate Prattsville's community resilience and continued rebuilding 2 years after Hurricane Irene! 

On Aug. 28, 2011, the people of Prattsville, NY were confronted with lots and lots of mud as a result of the flooding from Hurricane Irene.  It wasn’t too long afterward that they vowed to create MudFest:  A celebration of the the town’s spirit and determination to come back from the brink of destruction…by embracing and celebrating all that mud.  This year’s event will be held on Friday, August 23, 4pm-10pm & Saturday, August 24, 9am-11pm. 

Friday, gather with old and new friends at a play by local children and a water blessing ceremony, then gather with good food and good music provided by ‘Deadwood’, then enjoy the fireworks at 9pm.   Read more

"In Fleischmanns, it took the kids to raise the village"

To commemorate the two-year anniversary of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, which devastated communities across the Catskills on August 28, 2011, we are collecting your flood stories. To see all the submitted flood stories, click here. To see last year's "Faces of the Flood" photo project, click here. To submit a flood story, email it to [email protected]

Above: A young Fleischmanns resident after the flood of 2011. All photos submitted by Bud Sife.

By Bud Sife.

This poem about the flooding in Fleischmanns was written last year, on the one-year anniversary of the flood. Sife submitted it to us in time for the two-year anniversary. -- Ed.

When I left Woodstock
I was forty nine years old
I wanted to change my life…..
to be alone,
to study, and to regenerate,
and Fleischmanns was a good place for that.  Read more

Helping after Irene, 25 cents at a time

To commemorate the two-year anniversary of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, which devastated communities across the Catskills on August 28, 2011, we are collecting your flood stories. To see all the submitted flood stories, click here. To see last year's "Faces of the Flood" photo project, click here. To submit a flood story, email it to [email protected]

Above: Sheniah Blake presents a check to Michael Porter, the president of the Margaretville Fire Department, for $100 in appreciation for the Margaretville Fire Department's work during Tropical Storm Irene. Blake raised the money selling candy bars at her school in Florida, where she lives. Photo by Lenore Blake.

By Lenore Blake

When Hurricane Irene devastated the town of Margaretville, Sheniah Blake was a 15-year-old high school sophomore, trying to adjust to her new life at Island Coast High School in Cape Coral, Florida where her family had recently relocated. Although she was born in Connecticut, she had spent most of her summers in Margaretville, where her grandparents, Lenore and Ron Blake, have owned a summer residence for forty years.

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Shandaken employee charged with embezzling flood funds

An employee of the Shandaken highway department has been charged with embezzling over $20,000 from the town, some of it allegedly from FEMA funds meant for Irene flood relief.

On Wednesday, state police arrested 46-year-old Florence Sullivan of Chichester and charged her with third-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying business records, and first-degree scheme to defraud, all felonies.

According to a state police statement, Sullivan manipulated town payroll and financial records associated with both herself and other employees, including federal flood relief payment records. As a result, police said, Sullivan received over $20,000 in overpayments and benefits, while other town employees had money wrongfully withheld.   Read more

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