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Hurricane Irene Update September 2, 2011

Hurricane Irene-the aftermath

Hurricane Irene - the aftermath as seen from the patrol boat.
View more images on our Flickr site

Riverkeeper’s thoughts are with those throughout the region who are struggling to recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. In the Hudson Valley, we witnessed firsthand the havoc caused by this storm, which includes flooded main streets from Westchester to Schoharie Counties, thousands of homes without power, and waterlogged fields, drowning out crops at what is traditionally the most productive point of the growing season.

Esopus Creek in particular experienced record-breaking floods. According to the Times Herald-Record, the Upper Esopus creek crested around 1 p.m. on August 28 at 23 feet, which is 12 feet above flood stage levels. The previous record flood level for the Upper Esopus was 21.94 feet. The Lower Esopus creek was at about 23 feet as of 1 p.m. on August 28, which is 3 feet above flood stage levels. It was expected to crest at 26.3 feet at 10 a.m. Monday. That’s just shy of the record flood of 26.5 feet.

And for a 12-hr period the night of August 28, the Ashokan Reservoir was spilling at a rate of nine billion gallons/per day.

View some images of the destruction as seen from the Riverkeeper patrol boat.

We want to make sure all those who have been affected know that President Obama has declared NYS a federal disaster area, and that emergency funding is available to people in the counties of Albany, Clinton, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Otsego, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Warren, and Westchester and Ulster. Applications can be made starting September 1 at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY). Please share this information with everyone you know in these areas.

Riverkeeper is on the ground working with our partners in these communities and will continue to provide updates as they become available.

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