Blog Archives

Dine Out Irene on 9/25: Eat Food, Fund Clean-Up

Restaurants in both upstate and downstate New York are donating up to 10% of proceeds on September 25th to post-Irene restoration efforts with Dine Out Irene. Lots of the restaurants are in Westchester and other not-quite-upstate counties, which is a nice thing: it’s like the whole state — okay, the whole eastern part of New York State — can come together to help recover from the devastating events that Tropical Storm Irene had on the Catskills…and have a good meal, too. One the jump: the list of non-NYC participating restaurants.

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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.

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Flood Insurance

Flickr/Edwin Martinez1

For those of you about to embark on home ownership, we wanted to pass on this nifty resource, since hurricane season is in full swing and we’ve seen what major storms can do to the Catskills. Floodsmart is a government site, the product of the National Floor Insurance Program, and it gives you a chance to find out the answers to questions like “how much could a flood cost me?” and has resources for condo-owners, homeowners and renters. (Actually, I have renters’ insurance, but I have no idea if it covers floods!)

In general, flood insurance premiums are based on the following factors:

  • Year of building construction
  • Building occupancy
  • Number of floors
  • The location of its contents
  • Its flood risk (i.e. its flood zone)
  • The location of the lowest floor in relation to the elevation requirement on the flood map (in newer buildings only)
  • The deductible you choose and the amount of building and contents coverage

All this means that it might be wise to check the flood zone of a building you’re interested in. You might save yourself a significant amount of insurance money by selecting a home on slightly higher ground.

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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