Hurricanes and tropical storms are not that common in the Catskills, so the impact of Hurricane Irene on Bovina and Delaware County is historic. Though a tropical storm by the time it passed over Bovina, it still packed quite the punch.
What other hurricanes have impacted Bovina? I recall that Hurricane Agnes caused considerable flooding in Central and Western New York in June 1972, but they are a rare occurrence in the area. Delaware County and Bovina are no strangers to floods, but they usually are not caused by hurricanes but by simply heavy rain, sometimes combined with snow melt. The two floods in 1996 and in 2006 were not hurricane related but were none-the-less devastating to the county.
Bovina has gotten through Irene relatively unscathed, though there has been some flooding, power outages, road damage and downed trees. A heavy rain last October caused Coulter Brook to rise higher than it did on Sunday. If you have pictures of the flooding in Bovina, please pass them along. Here are three pictures I took. The first two are of Coulter Brook near the Bovina Cemetery. The third picture is the 'ball field' by the library.
Unfortunately, our neighbors in Fleischmanns, Margaretville, and Arkville have not been so lucky. The scale of the damage there is overwhelming. And beyond those areas is the devastation in Schoharie and Greene Counties. The historic Old Blenheim Covered Bridge, the world's longest, was completely destroyed. There a numerous videos and photographs of the flooding and its aftermath on the Internet. The Weather Channel has a site specific to the damage in the Catskills at http://www.weather.com/weather/hurricanecentral/article/disaster-in-the-catskills-hurricane-irene_2011-08-28from. There also are a number of videos on You Tube. This disaster is of historic and epic proportions.
There are a number of efforts to help those impacted by the flooding. This morning, the Central New York Radio Group stations - WZOZ - WDOS - WSRK - WDLA - WDHI - WTBD (wzozfm.com) will team up with The United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties to take donations from 7 am to noon. You can tune in to any one of the stations listed above, or wzozfm.com, and click the "LISTEN LIVE" button. Call 607-432-1030 to pledge, or 888-432-1030. NBT Bank in Hobart is collecting urgently needed supplies, including canned goods, bottled water, diapers, blankets and clothing.
Bovina residents are grateful to have avoided major damage but are grieved by what has happened to our neighbors. Many are volunteering their services to help in the recovery. Our sympathies to all who lost their homes and businesses.