Phoenicia is open for business, and wants to welcome everyone back to our lovely town. But, to many who live far afield and read the New York Times, a recent article questioning Phoenicia’s location in a flood plain, may have served to conjure up an image that our town was wiped out by Hurricane Irene. That is not the case. All the Main Street businesses are open, and the buildings are safe. One of our two bridges is not yet repaired, so access to town is via the “Eagle” entrance off Route 28, or from the Old Plank Road. One can still eat at all of the restaurants, and enjoy the stores and galleries. The tubing season has ended, and the Catskill Mountain Railroad is running a 5-mile service between Boiceville and Mt. Tremper.
Phoenicia is part of the Town of Shandaken, geographically one of the state's largest towns, at over 17 miles long. I say this to illustrate to those unfamiliar with our area that Shandaken indeed had some areas which suffered greatly because of Irene, but other areas were not severely affected. Town-wide, approximately 23 structures were deemed “unsafe.” There has been a tremendous outpouring of volunteer effort, coordinated by The Phoenicia Rotary, and incredible work has been done by the many fire and rescue workers; utility and communications folks; highway men and women, led by Eric Hoffmeister; heavy equipment operators; Supervisor Rob Stanley; The Phoenicia United Methodist Church; Belleayre Ski Center; Food providers; Family of Woodstock; FEMA; The National Guard; Governor Cuomo, and I’m sure several others I’ve inadvertently neglected to mention (sorry). And, the donations from near and far have been overwhelming. And, we all are very grateful for everyone’s extraordinary generosity.
Volunteers are being marshaled again for this weekend, to help our neighbors do whatever they need to do to get their lives back on track. Folks can come to Phoenicia on Saturday and Sunday, 10am or thereafter, to the Rotary Tent by Mama’s Boy, and be deployed. Wear boots; and bring gloves. Get ready for tough, mucky work.
And, since Irene, dredging has begun. The Stony Clove Creek, as it enters town, has begun to be dredged. The expectation is that the channeling will reduce Phoenicia’s “flooding” issues in the future and prevent water spilling over to Main Street.
In recent days, the skies have shined and as one travels our beautiful area, we are reminded about the magic of the landscape which inspires so many. We are still here. Our mountains, our skies, our wildlife and our streams remain quite beautiful. And, as the days shorten and the leaves begin to turn with the colors of autumn, we want all of our friends from afar to visit us, share in the beauty of the season, and the strength and resilience of our amazing community.
Join us here.
Chichester, New York
(a suburb of Phoenicia)