0CFE69074D054EC786164AC7D52B6357
Frankfurt, Germany

WeatherBug® Your Weather Just Got Better™

Change Units: °F | °C

Hurricane News

Frankfurt, Germany

7 Months After Irene, More Cleanups In N.Y. and Vt.

April 9, 2012

By Lisa Rathke and Michael Hill, The Associated Press

Enlarge

CHARLESTON, N.Y. - Seven months after the deluge of Tropical Storm Irene, cleanups continue and worries remain in upstate New York and Vermont.

Farmers in the fields this spring are still grappling with crop-smothering rocks, trees, gravel and sand left behind when the flood waters receded. And some local governments worry about new floods as they continue to clear piles of trees, rocks and household debris from stream banks.

"If we get a normal high-water spring, this stuff is not going to stay here," Marty Navojosky said as walked through a maze of debris on his land along the Schoharie Creek west of Albany.

Rural, hilly areas in New York and Vermont were hit especially hard hit by flooding when Irene soaked the East Coast last August.

In the Adirondacks, Essex County officials say there is still a "tremendous amount of debris" to remove along rivers and tributaries. Farther south along the Schoharie Creek, Navojosky`s land is one of a series of debris-laden spots along the Schoharie.

"If you have another flooding situation, this stuff will become projectiles as they run down the river again, impacting bridges and plugging streams up. ... You really need to clean it up," said Essex County`s head of emergency services, Don Jaquish.

Farmers are concerned that the gray or even sandy white soil left behind by Irene will affect yields. At Liberty Hill Farm along the White River in Rochester, Vt., the flood waters deposited a layer of gravel, sand and silt that is choking grass in some spots of the normally rich, loamy soil and hampering spring planting of other feed crops for their dairy cows.

"Our pasture was obliterated," farmer Beth Kennett said. "There are areas where we have to reseed to hay, areas where we would normally have grass and hay and pasture. We`re talking about planting them to corn. We can then plow it under and then get more nutrient matter under the soil."

The federal government has set aside $4.7 million to reimburse Vermont farmers for work to restore their land to productive use. The grants will cover up to 75 percent of the cost of work, which must be done first.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency through the state can reimburse municipalities up to three quarters of expenses for debris removal along stream banks. But FEMA will only reimburse for debris removal that meets certain thresholds.

The agency recently turned Montgomery County down for reimbursement for a series of messes along the Schoharie, including Navojosky`s land, because it didn`t meet the reimbursement criteria. The county is appealing.

FEMA spokesman Matthew Russell said there are "occasions" when an applicant and FEMA disagree about eligibility, and the appeal can address that.

---

Rathke reported from Rochester, Vt.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

---

Story Images: The aftermath from Hurricane Irene in late August in the Northeast. (AP Photos)

What do you think of this story?
Click here for comments or suggestions.

Recent Stories:

Hurricane Learning Center

Hurricane Center

View maps and learn about hurricanes.

Hurricane Tracker

Follow the path of past major storms and hurricanes.

Hurricane Facts

What is a hurricane? How is it formed? Learn the facts.

Hurricane Safety

Do you have a disaster plan? Tips so you can be prepared.

Hurricane Names

Find out what Hurricane names are planned for this year.

Satellite Images

Watch time-lapse satellite images of recent storm activity around the world.

Hurricane Outlook

The latest hurricane news and headlines on hurricane season and active storms.

Hurricane Video

Learn more about the power of a Category 5 hurricane and the damage it can cause. Watch Video

Hurricane Now

Hurricane experiences and coverage from people reporting live on the scene. Watch Video

Stay Safe & Informed

New WeatherBug®Alert

WeatherBug Alert Tray Icon

Get severe weather alerts and your live local temperature when you're not on the web. Includes one-click access to additional severe weather information on WeatherBug.com. Learn More

Weather News

Other Top Weather Headlines

WeatherBug Featured Content

Green Living

Green Living

You too can help save our planet and put money back in your wallet. Learn how you can take the first steps to reduce your environmental impact, including driving green, easy ways you can conserve water, and energy saving tips. To learn more and discover the benefits of going green, visit WeatherBug’s green living section. More >

Sponsored Content