12 Years Ago: Hurricane Irene Hits the Hudson Valley
Massive flooding and devastation hit the Hudson Valley area this week back in 2011.
The effects of Hurricane Irene in New York were the worst from a hurricane since Hurricane Agnes in 1972.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency on August 25, urging the Office of Emergency Management to prepare for a possible landfall or direct hit from Irene. On August 27, Irene became the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Ike in 2008.
Later that day, the storm re-emerged into the Atlantic from southeastern Virginia. Although Irene remained a hurricane over water, it weakened to a tropical storm while making yet another landfall in southeastern New Jersey on August 27.
A few hours later, Irene made its ninth and final landfall in Brooklyn. On August 28, Irene devastated the Hudson Valley area with flooding and other storm damage.
Hurricane Irene in the Hudson Valley
I remember being at the radio station the weekend that Hurricane Irene had passed through the Hudson Valley, and the flooding was monumental.
The flood damage was so bad in certain areas, including at the radio station at 2 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie where the parking lot was a literal lake. The water in the parking lot that spread into Pendell Rd had to have been at least a couple of feet deep. I remember actually seeing neighborhood kids swimming in the parking lot! We had to tell them to leave, as it was not a good idea to be swimming in the flood waters, as it was dangerous. Not to mention the water was filthy!
Just around the corner from the radio station at Smith Street and Salt Point Tpk, more extensive flooding could be seen, with cars almost entirely submerged in flood waters.
Throughout its path, Irene caused widespread destruction and at least 49 deaths. Damage estimates throughout the United States are estimated near $13.5 billion, making Irene one of the costliest hurricanes on record in the country.