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Irene: Cleanup starting all over again in Schoharie County

Irene: Cleanup starting all over again in Schoharie County

Structures and facilities in the vicinity of the Cobleskill Creek bore the brunt of a second wave of

Clint Almy had some of the Cobleskill Fairgrounds’ facilities back in shape following last week’s flooding, but all of that work was washed away when the Cobleskill Creek lashed out again at the village Wednesday.

Debris picked up by flood waters was strewn against mangled fencing Thursday afternoon while the creek continued to cut a new path through the dairy facilities. The Hall of Agriculture also took on damaging flood water.

“The floor is totally gone,” said Almy, an 18-year fair employee who’s been heading up buildings and grounds maintenance for 10 years.

Structures and facilities in the vicinity of the Cobleskill Creek bore the brunt of a second wave of flooding, but other areas of the county saw what county spokeswoman Karen Miller described as typical flooding seen a few times a year.

The disaster recovery center, where flood victims were finding assistance and aid applications, was shut down temporarily Wednesday but reopened Thursday, Miller said.

County, state and other emergency officials who had been using the fairgrounds as a base were routed Wednesday as the creek pushed further into the site. Miller said officials planned to move back to the fairgrounds later Thursday.

Elsewhere in the village, the creek carved out a new path into a ballfield at SUNY Cobleskill, and water flowed freely through the campus Thursday afternoon.

As for the fair, Almy said it’s going to take a long time to get facilities fixed and ready to rent out, meaning the fair’s primary source of income is cut off.

“This one killed us ... and I had them all fixed,” he said of the fair’s horse stables, which house horses during numerous events held throughout the year.

Corral fences, picnic tables and “anything back there is not available anymore,” said Almy, motioning toward the buildings that were still flowing with several feet of Cobleskill Creek water.

He said he was not yet able to assess damage in the buildings that house dairy cattle during the annual Sunshine Fair.

At SUNY Cobleskill, classes are canceled again today after its Curtis Mott agricultural building was hit with an electrical shutdown due to flooding in the basement, said spokesman Scott Silversten. Several other academic buildings shut down as well for precautionary reasons, he said.

An estimated 60 students dealt with damaged belongings after five residence halls on campus experienced severe flooding Wednesday.

First-floor lobbies, stairwells, entryways and hallways sustained flood damage on 10 wings in the five residence halls, Silversten said. In addition, exterior brickwork and sidewalks were damaged.

Students whose dorms flooded were relocated to other residence facilities on campus. No injuries were reported.

“This flooding was even more severe than last week because the water had no place to go,” Silversten said. “While the campus is susceptible to flooding due to where it lies in the area, this appears to be the most severe the campus has ever dealt with.”

For students whose damaged property is not covered under their parents’ homeowners insurance, SUNY Cobleskill is asking them to keep records and take pictures so the college can attempt to assist them financially.

The Schoharie County Health Department is urging emergency workers and flood victims to consider getting a tetanus shot because of the risk of tetanus due to cleanup activities. The department is holding a clinic at the Office for Aging on Holiday Way in Schoharie, near Dunkin Donuts, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.

People interested but unable to attend the clinic are asked to call 231-2335 to schedule an appointment.

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