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Middleburgh cleans up from flash flooding
MIDDLEBURGH -- Flash flood clean up. Neighbors in the Schoharie Valley still reeling from Hurricane Irene are back to work again. Steady, heavy rain caused creeks and streams to swell and flood some homes that escaped Irene's wrath.
"The first thing I thought of, Oh my God, it's Irene all over again," said June Bartholomew.
Bartholomew didn't have much time to think about it as the rain fell Friday. "I started gathering stuff together grabbed my two dogs put them in the car and I looked and it was coming over the little bridge over there and I couldn't even get out."
During daylight Saturday, June and volunteers on Straub Lane in Middleburgh haul and dig pounds of mud and debris. A creek runs next to June's house -- and ended up on her first floor.
"It came so fast and with such force," Bartholomew said. "I believe it was worse than Irene."
Reminders hang over downtown -- dust in the sky and mud on River Street.
Had Irene not come through this area almost two years ago now, some volunteers and homeowners cleaning debris out from around these streams wonder if that debris would have even been there.
"The worst of the damage we're seeing so far has come by a lot of smaller creeks and streams that have backed up around culverts," said Josh DeBartolo, director of Schoharie Recovery.
Schoharie Recovery is among the volunteer organizations in the trenches since 2011.
"These groups that had already been planning to come down anyway to work with Hurricane Irene so for them to be here on hand is invaluable for these people to really in the first 48 hours after a disaster like this is really the key time," DeBartolo said.
Far fewer homes are affected but more people in this valley share painful memories.
"There's still some repair going on from that storm," said Mary Alice Molgard with the American Red Cross. "We know that it is long term and red cross is here for the long haul."
That now includes June calling her insurance company and getting back to the usual flow of life.
"I'm just going to take it day by day. That's all you can do. It's still running pretty good the little creek so you just take it day by day," Bartholomew said.
If you're in Middleburgh and need help, volunteers from Schoharie Recovery are staged at the fire house. If you can offer help, you can contact Schoharie Recovery by visiting SchoharieRecovery.org, or by calling (518) 390-8828.