It's an anniversary still fresh in the minds on many in the Hudson Valley. It has been two years to the date since Tropical Storm Irene and the remnants of Lee swept through our area, leaving behind millions of dollars of property damage. YNN's Alexandra Weishaupt was in Ulster County, where people are still working to recover, two years later.
ULSTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Chichester resident Henry Needham said, "We don't have a lot of money here, but we have a lot of heart and really great people came to the forefront, sweeping up dirt four feet high right here in the middle of town."
A resilient community bouncing back from devastation as Henry Needham walks down Main Street in the Town of Phonecia reminiscing about the past two years and the all hands on deck approach to pick up the pieces following Irene's torrential rains winds and destructive nature.
Needham said, "People really put their shoulders into it. They cleaned a lot. Amazing work and people contributed from all over."
And are still contributing to this day. Over in Needham's Chichester neighborhood, crews are working to temporarily reroute the Stony Clove Creek in an effort to minimize flood damage and protect area homes
"We have State Route 213, which we're concerned about the next flood, if we lose that, there's a number of residents here who won't have access and it's a major concern," said Town Supervisor Rob Stanley.
Stanley says there are still more than 20 homes like this one in Mt. Tremper. About eight feet of flood waters forcing families to vacate the now overrun and destroyed dwelling to start anew
Stanley said, "Those people are still paying taxes, but have no use of the property and we have a dilapidated structure that's an eyesore."
While those folks wait for FEMA to kick in, others hold out hope ongoing efforts will prevent future damage to that degree as Mother Nature's wrath remains unpredictable
"Nature can be very cruel, but you take a look at the mountains here behind us and you know why people stick around," Needham said.
Stanley says so far, repairs costs are in the millions and expected to increase, but adds the community is willing to do whatever it takes.