Prattsville celebrates Mudfest, triumph over Irene - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Prattsville celebrates Mudfest, triumph over Irene


PRATTSVILLE, N.Y. -- Mudfest 2013 is a weekend long celebration in Prattville, a town devastated by the flooding after Hurricane Irene two years ago.

In August of 2011, flood waters devastated the small town.  Two years later the community says they are stronger than ever.

"It feels like yesterday sometimes, but it also feels like such a long time ago," said resident Ann O'hara.

O'hara was born and raised in the town, losing her property and business in the storm like so many others.

"My family gas station washed away and my mother lost her house.  She just moved back in this April," said O'hara.

Beth Ballard also saw her business destroyed but is using this weekend to put all her energy into Mudfest- a celebration of what Prattsville has overcome.

"People ask what we're doing celebrating a catastrophe, but I say we are celebrating coming back better and stronger," said Ballard.

There was also a water blessing Friday.  It was a time for people to write their hopes and wishes in flags and then place them along the river, because for the town's residents, it is all about how far they've come and looking forward to the future.

"A lot of people weren't gonna come back but they are in their houses today," said Ballard.

"We are strong and we might be a little town in the Catskills but we can do it," said O'hara.

The Mudfest will continue Saturday.



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