Blog Archives

Swiss Chard, Radishes, Watermelon, Rutabaga … Gone for the Year

Instead of the usual spread of produce on their Prospect Park farmers market table, Evolutionary Organics, based in New Paltz, had these sad hand-drawn signs. Kira Kinney, who runs Evolutionary Organics, also handed out a flyer explaining her situation to her customers. Nineteen of her twenty-two acres are under water and much of her fall crop is lost.

Evolutionary Organics is particularly well-known for their delicious heirloom tomatoes. (I bought some on Saturday, and yep, they were delicious.) If you see Kira’s stand at the Union Square or Prospect Park farmers’ markets, pick up a batch. Click here for a great example of how to use them.

The Huffington Post on “What Will Happen to Upstate New York?” Post-Irene

A beautiful, elegiac, but not-very-sanguine piece on Upstate New York’s past, present and future appeared in today’s Huff Post. It’s penned by Barbara Gunn, Upstate native and current Middleburgh resident. Gunn really captures the aesthetic allure of Upstate, though she doesn’t really differentiate between what it means to live in Rhinebeck, say, versus Utica. Still, is it really so grim? And does Irene’s destruction offer any sort of opportunity?

Here’s hoping the Huff Post does a follow-up or rejoinder.

In Margaretville, Teens Pitch In to Help, Post-Irene

Our Margaretville correspondent has penned this missive from the trenches of post-Irene clean-up, where area teenagers have been trudging through the mud, doing the hard physical labor of recovery. What’s more, they’ve volunteered, unasked. “There have been countless heroic moments this past week, some small some big, but in this all the local kids have shined,” she writes. Makes me think that Margaretville’s a darn good place to raise a kid.

Photos of Maplecrest, Post-Irene

When I asked some of the guys working on clean-up in hard-hit Maplecrest if I could take photos, they bristled at first and then thanked me for “at least asking.” Apparently, lots of tourists have been driving by post-Irene, rolling down their windows to point and shoot, and then driving away. Once I explained that the pics would appear on an Upstate-focused blog to show what damage has been done and how clean-up is coming along,  I was readily welcomed.

Most of these pictures are of County Rd 40, which connects pretty Maplecrest to nearby Hensonville.  Maplecrest’s town center on Rd 56, some of which escaped the storm,  boasts lovely nineteenth-century churches and homes. While small and sleepy, Maplecrest has a growing artistic community and is currently in the middle of converting its formerly bustling, now abandoned Catskills vacation colonies into an arts center.

If you’re a local, let us know how you feel Maplecrest is doing or what you think of all the media coverage. Helping? Hurting? Do you want journalists to move on or do you think sustained attention is a good thing for the Catskills, even if it’s thanks to Irene?

Photos of Margaretville, post-Irene

An Upstater reader sent us these photos, taking by his Margaretville-based friend Marty Rynearson. Should give a pretty clear sense of what folks are dealing with. Head over to Watershed Post for more info about volunteering, donations and other ways to help.

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?

Need Someone to Check on Your Greene County Country House?

Carol Shaw from Shaw Country Realty has very generously offered to check on the homes of second home owners post-Hurricane Irene. The number for Shaw Country Realty is 518-734-3500.

Part of the motivation here is the National Guard is only supposed to let residents through to closed roads. That said, I am not a full-time resident, but I was able to get through. The National Guard has been pretty reasonable about letting people pass, but if you can’t make the trip, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

One more thing: if you bought your home relatively recently, you might want to try your own broker for a similar check-in service. Many Greene County brokers have offered to do the same as Carol.

Sad News, and Road Updates

Upstater’s Alia is in Greene County to check on her house and help out other folks who were looking for information about their loved ones and properties. (Her house is fine, yay). She reports that Route 23A is closed, but she was able to get up 23. Others reported that Mountain Road from Saugerties is closed and collapsted at Kaaterskill Falls. Tannersville, however, is doing fine and much is open for business.

Another reader wrote in to tell us that her mom, and her mom’s house, is fine, but that the caretaker of the property drowned while trying to deal with the aftermath of the storm. Our hearts go out to her.

Where to Get Info on Stranded Friends, Damaged Homes and other Hurricane Irene Upstate Fallout

Folks are leaving word here, asking for others to check in on their homes or friends. Several people have reported that they have elderly friends or relatives stranded without water, food or power. So, first of all, if you are in Greene or Delaware counties, near the ravaged areas, and are able to check on people or homes for our readers, please leave word in the comments, or respond to readers in previous posts.

Second, the wonderful Watershed Post, an Andes-based blog, has been doing thorough, live coverage of Hurricane Irene’s effects on upstate New York, and they even have a stranded people spreadsheet where you can leave info or request info about folks you haven’t been able to locate. Andes only lost power for 10 minutes, and it was last night–the town is very high up, which is one of the many attractive things about it–so they’ve been working day and night to help ameliorate the situation.

Please keep us posted. We’ve had a lot of worried emails and we feel a little helpless — one of us is still downstate and the other one is trying desperately to get to her East Jewett home. That area, too, has seen a lot of damage.

Also, if you want to help out with food, clothes, money or other goods, read our How To Donate post.

Map of Damaged and Washed-Out Roads in Upstate New York

Click here for a helpful, interactive crowd-sourced Google map of washouts and closures in Greene, Delaware, and Ulster Counties.

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