As flood waters have crested and receded, the full extent of the damage incurred by Hurricane Irene is becoming clearer. Irene brought record-high flooding to the East Branch of the Delaware River, far surpassing the 500-year flood of January 1996.
Fortunately, the West Branch of the Delaware and the Susquehanna basin only experienced minor flooding. The Towns of Middletown and Roxbury (including the Villages of Margaretville and Fleischmanns and the Hamlets of Arkville and Roxbury) sustained the worst of the damage in Delaware County.
Delaware County has rescinded its countywide State of Emergency. The travel advisory for Delaware County has also been lifted, although the Town of Middletown, the Village of Margaretville and the Village of Fleischmanns remain under a state of emergency. The State of Emergency in Roxbury has been lifted as of this morning.
The East Bay Situation Management Team out of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties in California has been conducting initial damage assessments in the hardest hit areas.
Assessments in the Village of Fleischmann’s indicate that several residences have been completely destroyed, and at least 30 residences are so badly damaged that they will likely be deemed uninhabitable. 3 businesses in the Village of Fleischmanns have been damaged severely enough that access to the structure has been prohibited by authorities. Many other structures in Fleischmanns have sustained damage of some kind. In Margaretville, at least five residences have been completely destroyed, and at least five have been damaged substantially enough that they will likely be deemed uninhabitable
. At least 13 commercial structures in the Village of Margaretville have been deemed unsafe to enter by authorities, including the Freshtown Supermarket/CVS building captured in many dramatic photographs. Many other structures in the Village of Margaretville have sustained damage of some kind.
A team from FEMA arrived this morning to determine what kind of assistance Delaware County will be eligible for. Based on air and ground assessments, Delaware County will be eligible for both Public Assistance (to municipalities and the County) and Individual Assistance (to property owners).
A Disaster Recovery Center will be set up in the next few days, location TBD. FEMA will accept applications for Individual Assistance both online (http://www.fema.gov/assistance/index.shtm) and over the phone ((800) 621-3362). Those who have suffered property damage are being advised to take detailed photographs that document damage to the inside and outside of structures (including high water marks and damaged belongings) before beginning any major repairs. Individuals who have flood insurance are advised to contact their insurance agent immediately, and to visit (http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/recover/claim.shtm). Support for understanding how to apply for Disaster Assistance and file a Flood Insurance claim is also available from the Delaware County Planning Department (607-746-2944, email@example.com).
Roads that remain closed are barricaded or detoured. DCDPW and NYSDOT along with NYSEG have been working around the clock to clear roads that had been closed, as well as assess the safety of bridges and other structures. Many roads that were closed have been opened as power lines are cleared and stream crossings are checked for safety. While there has been no systematic effort to estimate the damage to highway infrastructure from Hurricane Irene, it is expected to run into the tens of millions of dollars county-wide.
Utility crews are out working on multiple power outages. As of 4:30 hrs there are approximately 3,382 Delaware County residents without power. Nearly every township in the county is experiencing outages. NYSEG has posted its dry ice and bottled water distribution centers on their website (http://www.nyseg.com/Outages/dryice.html).
The Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is assisting DPW and DOT with assessments of threats to infrastructure from streams. They are also mobilizing resources to stabilize streams where necessary. Damages to agricultural lands and infrastructure are being assessed by the SWCD Ag. Program, FSA and NRCS. Damages will be reported and compiled for assistance through SWCD programs.
The Army National Guard is working in the Margaretville and Fleischmanns areas helping with security and traffic control. They will be working with local Law enforcement units from the State Police, the Delaware County Sheriffs Office and the Delaware County Probation Department.
Public Health/Social Services have issued a separate press release soliciting donations of food, toiletries, clothing, and school supplies. Donation drop-off sites are at Delaware Opportunities in Hamden, and Catholic Charities and Smith Ford in Oneonta. The full press release can be viewed here: (http://www.co.delaware.ny.us/).
The Press Release details the following services available to disaster victims:
Advent Christian Church (109 Maple St, Margaretville)
• The Red Cross shelter remains open at this location
Margaretville Methodist Church
• Delaware County Department of Mental Health staff (intermittent)
• Delaware County Department Social Services staff
• NYS Department of Labor- information on low-interest loans
Margaretville Fire Department
• Dry Ice
Margaretville Hospital Parking Lot
• CVS temporary prescription refills
Roxbury Methodist Church
• cleaning products
• diapers and baby wipes
• hygiene and sanitary products
Roxbury Fire Department
• Dry Ice
Fleischmanns Community Baptist Church
• clean up kits/personal care items
Bellyare Ski Center
• Red Cross Shelter
• Ulster County Department of Social Services
The main phone number to contact the EOC will be 607-746-9600. Anyone with questions, concerns or reports for the EOC can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.