Shandaken loses power in Monday's storm
By Jay Braman Jr.
Lights in the Town of Shandaken went dark Monday night after a transformer fire caused electrical outages from Big Indian to Boiceville.
This was just one of the problems of the day, which saw heavy rain, the threat of flooding and some confusion about whether or not Route 28 was underwater.
At about 5 p.m. New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) customers in town experienced sporadic outages over a 30-minute period, and a total blackout at approximately 7 p.m.
The problem was a transformer fire at the NYSEG substation on Rudy Frank Road in Shandaken. Power was restored at about 10 p.m.
Thus ended a day where locals watched streams carefully. The threat of flooding was announced Sunday, and the deluge that appeared with the dawn following gave cause for concern.
So it was not a surprise when by midmorning the Internet lit up with word that the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOP) had closed Route 28 in Mount Tremper due to high water. Earlier this year the highway, the main artery in and out of the Catskills, was closed due to flooding so it came as no surprise when the news broke again.
But, it turned out to be an error, a quick drive down the highway showed no high water anywhere in sight. And certainly no closure of the road.
Then it became clear what had happened. NYSDOT sent out an alert due to flooding on state Route 212 in Mount Tremper but accidentally listed Route 28 instead. In reality it was a clogged culvert that caused the temporary closure of Route 212, just near what is called “the four corners” in Mount Tremper. And that was cleared out quickly.
Dodged a bullet
On Tuesday, Shandaken Supervisor Robert Stanley said the town was spared from yet another flood.
“I talked with the highway superintendent this morning and we are fine,” he said.
Phoenicians are breathing a collective sigh of relief. The Stony Clove Creek, which runs alongside the business district of the hamlet, has twice flooded Main Street in the past year, causing thousands of dollars of property damage.
The town is expected to begin work in the stream this month to prevent future floods, and many feared Monday that the hamlet would be hit a third time before those prevention measures are taken.