11 years after Irene flooded Rotterdam Junction, damaged house to be demolished

The damaged, doomed house at 1233 Main St. in Rotterdam Junction is shown

The damaged, doomed house at 1233 Main St. in Rotterdam Junction is shown

ROTTERDAM JUNCTION — One of the last unrepaired casualties of Tropical Storm Irene will be chopped up and hauled off to a landfill.

The Capital Region Land Bank on Friday announced it will demolish the forlorn house at the corner of Scrafford Lane and Main Street in Rotterdam Junction, which was damaged in the epic flooding of August 2011 and apparently has been uninhabited since.

It’s a glaring eyesore sitting along a primary through route right in the heart of the hamlet, and officials are happy to see it gone.

“This property located right on Route 5S in Rotterdam Junction is one of the most blighted zombie properties in Schenectady County,” said Richard Ruzzo, chairman of the Land Bank.

The Land Bank said Schenectady County finally seized the property 1233 Main St. for nonpayment of taxes in 2019, then sold it to a new owner who hoped to repair it. The owner did not, nor did two subsequent owners. The Land Bank convinced the third owner to give up, and turn over the deed so the house could be demolished.

Dan’s Hauling & Demo will be paid $19,400 for the work, which will begin as soon as utility connections are removed, said Land Bank Executive Director David Hogenkamp.

“Whenever possible we try to save structures and repair them,” he said. “In this case, the building is way beyond repair and demolition is the only solution.” 

Rotterdam Junction, a low area along the Mohawk River, was one of the hardest-hit places amid the deluge of Tropical Storm Irene in late August 2011. It also was one of the most dramatically affected, as the water rose with stunning speed once the old Erie Canal started funneling it in.

Damage was extensive and massive, and Scrafford Lane was one of the most deeply submerged parts of the hamlet, covered with 8 feet of water in some places.

Google Street View’s historic feature provides a bit of a chronicle of the house at 1233 Main St. 

The 2007 and early August 2011 views show it inhabited but a bit shabby, with patchwork modifications to its exterior. Subsequent views, after the flood, show the lot overgrown at times and the house increasingly decrepit, with the enclosed front porch torn off and a scar showing the outline of its roof.  

It’s now missing some roof shingles and most of its siding, with weathered grey wood peeking through. Most important is the damage the flood inflicted on the foundation, which none of the owners ever fixed, Hogenkamp said. 

The Land Bank will try to sell the smallish plot of land once the house is removed, but recognizes it may have a limited market of potential buyers.

Categories: Business, News, Rotterdam, Schenectady County

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