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Damages from Irene in the Catskills Expected to Exceed $1 Billion

Here’s a story from yesterday’s broadcast on WNYC, detailing some of the horrendous numbers, the death and destruction from Tropical Storm Irene. “Of 191 storm-related rescues in the state, 124 were in the Catskills, and six people were killed, including one woman who drowned in a cottage swamped by floodwaters. Irene also destroyed 500 to 600 homes and thousands of acres of farmland.”

But there’s one positive note: floodwaters are receding, Obama has declared it a major disaster area and help is on the way. Right?

Hurricane Irene Devastates Upstate New York

I thought about heading upstate on Friday evening, assuming it would be safer than staying put in my Brooklyn neighborhood, even if we’re relatively high up compared to the evacuated sectors of the city. But I chose to remain, afraid of the panicked traffic. The storm seemed barely to pass by my windows, but Hurricane Irene, or Tropical Storm Irene as it later became, weaved a path of destruction through the Catskills, on towns we’ve already profiled and even this week’s spotlight town, Tannersville. Above is video of severely flooded Margaretville. My family’s place in Tivoli is without power, and my family further north, in Saratoga, said tens of thousands had lost power around there, as well. Twenty-one people were stranded in a Prattsville motel, though the National Guard managed to rescue them.

All we can say is, yowza. What kind of impact this will have on upstate New York real estate remains to be seen. Hope everybody’s okay up there, and for those of you about to close on a house, remember this: buy flood insurance.

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