2 years later, many still rebuilding after Tropical Storm Irene
Fox 23 WXXA
Wednesday, August 28th, marks the two-year anniversary of the day Tropical Storm Irene devastated parts of the area.
Tropical Storm Irene started as Hurricane Irene near the Caribbean on August 20, 2011. The storm traveled up the east coast, weakening to a tropical storm as it traveled up to New York from New Jersey on August 28, 2011.
New York State was declared a federal disaster area with over $1.6 billion in damage. Tropical Storms Irene and Lee caused widespread destruction and major flooding in upstate New York, including the hard-hit communities of Prattsville, Schoharie, Schenectady, Rotterdam Junction, and Middleburgh.
NEWS10 visited Schoharie County Tuesday; an area that was devastated by Irene. The intense rain caused the Schoharie Creek to flood its banks and while some homes and businesses have been rebuilt in the last two years, others still remain vacant.
Greg Hotaling, a homeowner in Esperance, explains how there is ongoing challenges, and fear in many of the threat of another devastating storm happening again.
“Some folks faced financial challenges they couldn’t overcome,” Hotaling explains. “Two years later, we’re all still trying to get comfortable with the fact that there was such a great upheaval around here.”
Hotaling managed to rebuild, but his neighbor did not. The home has mold visible from the outside and now rodents have invaded it.