Updated 10/26/2012 09:25 PM
Schoharie preparing for what Sandy may bring
One of the areas hit hardest by Irene is now bracing for Sandy. But local leaders are taking action early to help scale back the impact of the storm. Our Madeleine Rivera has the details from Schoharie.
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SCHOHARIE COUNTY, N.Y. -- "It was about a full year," said Schoharie resident Peter Johnson.
That's how long it took for Peter Johnson and his wife to recover from Tropical Storm Irene, which hit the Town of Schoharie badly last August.
"The mark of the flood inside the house was about 48 inches. It must've been about six feet above ground level," described Johnson.
As Hurricane Sandy makes its way along the Atlantic coastline, town officials are making sure they're better prepared this time around.
"I'd rather apologize up front for taking partnership with our colleagues today to protect life and property rather than apologize after the fact that we haven't done enough," said Assemblyman Peter Lopez.
Town officials want to decrease the amount of flooding in the area. In order to do that, they've asked the state to open a tunnel between two reservoirs so that water can flow through.
The Gilboa Dam sits above Schoharie County. It flows to the Schoharie Reservoir. But right now, the dam is at full capacity. Assemblyman Lopez wants to open the Shandaken Tunnel, which runs between the Schoharie and Ashokan reservoirs. This way, water can flow from the Schoharie to the Ashokan.
"That reservoir had something the Schoharie Reservoir did not. It had a void. Roughly 22 percent of its capacity was open to any rainfall that may occur as a result of the hurricane," said Lopez.
For the residents of Schoharie, the efforts being made ahead of time are welcomed.
"The preparation by all levels of government has significantly improved. It's reassuring," said Johnson.