Tropical Storm Irene caused a lot of financial pain and personal inconvenience. But it also provided an opportunity for heroism. Take They Gray Ghost, a late ’80s GMC truck owned by Bart Bell, who works at Lynch’s Marina in Saugerties. During the most intense part of the storm, when it looked like several boats and the docks they were tied to were about to be swept out of the Esopus and into the Hudson, Bell parked his pick-up at the edge of the creek and lashed everything to its bumper. As the creek rose — eventually reaching the windows of the truck — The Gray Ghost held fast, saving the dock and boats.
Bell thought that might have been it for The Gray Ghost – one last act of martyrdom in service of the fleet. But the old truck wasn’t through.
“Once the water receded, I let the truck dry out for two days, checked the oil to make sure water hadn’t gotten into it, and she started right up,” Bell said with a smile.