Portrait of Devastation: Residents Document Storm-Ravaged Catskills

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Margaretville in the Catskills (David Parise)

The gut-wrenching images of muddied water surging down quaint main streets and the splintered houses where grand country homes once stood has been captured by residents using social media in rural villages of the Catskills ripped apart by Tropical Storm Irene.

The area is among the region's hardest hit by the storm that largely spared New York City but left many two hours north under feet of surging brown water. Of 191 storm-related rescues in the state, 124 were in the Catskills, and one woman drowned in a cottage swamped by floodwaters.

"We've had some terrible flooding here," Lissa Harris, editor of, told WNYC on Monday. "And it’s slowly draining down to the more low-lying areas." has featured a live blog where residents can access information and provided a forum for citizen journalism to blossom. Another resident began mapping the devastation.

In a video posted on YouTube and featured on, rescuers in a boat pluck someone from a ground-floor residence on Main Street in Margaretville as a wall of raging water charges down the store-lined street of the once-tidy town.

A separate video shows the muddied waters swirling around park benches, potted plants and the base of traffic lights that glowed green on Main Street.

"Our whole crop is covered with water, and we're just working at cleaning up here and see what comes out from under it," said farmer Richard Giles, of Lucky Dog Farm, in Hamden, New York, in another video.


Watershed Post - Storm Report, Hamden NY 08 29 2011 from VeccVideography on Vimeo.



Hurricane Irene - Margarertville 8-28-11 11am from Fred Margulies on Vimeo.

Bridge Street, Margaretville, NY - After Hurricane Irene from Fred Margulies on Vimeo.

Photos courtesy of David Parise

Courtesy of Schoharie County (NY) Emergency Services/Facebook


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Comments [1]

susan schulman from Brooklyn,New York

These catskills are like a dream serenity amongest the most beautiful landscape.These people don't have a lot, but they have compassion and strenghth and they will survive.

Sep. 03 2011 01:33 PM

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