Saugerties prepares for power outages, flooding

Lighthouse Drive residents Jon McCarthy, his daughter, Lisa McCarthy, and wife, Penny McCarthy, along with neighbors Jessica Vickery and June Overbaugh along with a number of other neighbors banded together Sunday, to pull docks from the water, tie down outdoor furniture and do whatever else they could to keep their homes safe during the coming storm.

As Hurricane Sandy looms, Saugerties is preparing for massive power outages and some flooding.

The Esopus Creek is already creeping into backyards along Lighthouse Drive today, leaving residents – some of whom still haven’t fully repaired the damage caused by Irene last summer – wondering just how bad the next few days will be.

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There is reason to expect local flooding won’t be as bad as Irene – 2011 was a wet year and the water table was high, so it didn’t take much to push the region into flood stage. Also, the rain forecast – between 3-6 inches – is less because the Hudson Valley is on the north and east side of the storm. (That said, high tide in the Hudson will coincide with the storm’s peak – it’s already expected to break the record set last year during Irene, though in Saugerties the damage was caused not by the Hudson but by the Esopus Creek.)

Most of the impact is expected to come from high winds. According to Alex Marra, of Hudson Valley Weather, a local weather information aggregator, the worst of the storm will hit us late Monday afternoon and continue through the night into Tuesday. “Winds will be quite strong, and the duration of these winds is what will create the most damage, consider the gusty winds you have witnessed during a severe thunderstorm but for 12 hours+…Winds will likely be sustained at 30-45 mph with gusts as high as 75 mph,” writes Marra.

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