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Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Irvington One Year After Irene

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Hurricane Irene is still affecting Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Irvington a year after it hit, even though it did not cause significant damage, village officials said.

“Our emergency services handled Hurricane Irene very well, but we did identify areas where we can improve,” Sleepy Hollow Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio said. “As a result, the village is working on better procedures in dealing with emergencies.”

Several thousand people were left without power for days after Hurricane Irene hit the Tarrytown area on Aug. 28, 2011. Police and residents reported several downed trees and flooding as well, but most of Irene's destruction took place elsewhere in the tri-state region.

Irvington residents flocked to the Bridge Street parking lot after the storm to see where the Hudson River's raging waters had overflowed and flooded the area with several inches of water. Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown residents saw less flooding, but downed trees and branches meant they spent several days without power.

A year later, Giaccio said Sleepy Hollow has learned and prepared for another major storm. Officials are working with police and emergency responders to create a hazard-mitigation plan, which will help them identify risks, Giaccio said. Additionally, first responders are meeting to develop action plans before any expected weather event.

Irvington Village Administrator Lawrence Schopfer said most of the village's post-Irene work has been to clean up debris, such as restoring trails in the Irvington Woods. Damage from a stream in Station Road Park has been temporarily repaired, Schopfer noted.

Tarrytown Village Administrator Michael Blau said Tarrytown did not have to make any repairs or changes because the only major damage was trees coming down on power lines. Giaccio, too, said power outages were a major problem during Irene.

“We are at times at the mercy of Con Edison,” he said, adding that village officials have been working on communication with Consolidated Edison to ensure timely information and quicker responses.

Irvington has also made plans to deal with anticipated heavy rains by replacing valves on the Irvington Reservoir so that the water levers can be lowered and the reservoir can act as a retention basin during heavy rain.

“The valves haven’t worked for many decades,” Schopfer said. “Before Hurricane Irene, with the valves not working, we pumped out the reservoir furiously in the days leading up to the storm.”

Schopfer said village trustees have recently awarded a contract for the project.

“Hopefully in the next few months, the construction will be complete and we will be in better shape to deal with anticipated heavy rains,” he said.

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