Updated 07/18/2012 07:09 PM
Schoharie County on road to recovery
Clean up efforts are still going on in Schoharie County, nearly a year after Tropical Storm Irene and the remnants of Lee devastated the area. But as our Maria Valvanis explains, state officials have now announced the next step for the road to recovery.
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SCHOHARIE COUNTY, N.Y. -- "Being isolated and having no way in or out is not really the feeling you want to have."
But it's a feeling Sandra Prokop said she and her family have felt before, when the creek behind their Middleburgh farm overflowed on to the road, isolating them completely and wiping out some of their livestock. Now, state officials announced $5.3 million will go towards mitigation projects, ensuring road use will not be jeopardized in the future.
"It gives us peace of mind that this is an evacuation route and this project restores that evacuation route in so many instances," said Prokop.
The aftermath of the floods left boulders, uprooted trees and straightened stream lines, making water speeds uncontrollable. But state officials tell us the money will help correct those problems and more.
"We're trying to be intelligent about this, not just put a band aid on it, but try to get in and re-develop the streams in a way that takes some of the energy and explosive power out," said Assemblyman Pete Lopez.
"One of the things the program will do is make sure the stream has the right number of grooves, the second thing is getting the streams connected with their flood plains," said Peter Nichols, Schoharie County Stream Project Manager.
All of which will take more energy out of the streams, especially in high water events.
"What we’re doing is better preparing our county for any future storms, so our creeks and streams will better handle any future experience with less loss of property and infrastructure," said Senator James Seward.
"If these had not been repaired, the threat to our lender, to be able to continue farming, would have been jeopardized," said Prokop.
Survey work to begin the project will start this fall. Officials tell us if all goes as planned, stream work will be completed by the end of next summer.