CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (News10) — After a dry spell, Capital Region lawns, green spaces, and farms are welcoming widespread showers. But at the same time officials in area cities have been keeping their eyes on the skies.
In Altamont, rain clouds obscuring the view of the Helderberg Mountains were considered anything but gloomy by the folks working at nearby Indian Ladder Farms. Dietrich Gehring—or Dieter, as he’s best known—is in charge of the cidery, brewery, and hop-growing operation at the farm. Even with the recent dry weather, the apple trees and hops are doing great, thanks to irrigation. “Field crops on the other hand, we do not irrigate,” added Gerhing. “We rely on mother nature to give us rain and we just haven’t had that.”
He showed News10’s Anya Tucker a patch of ornamental sunflowers. “These should be this big,” he said as he held his hand waist high. “And they are struggling.” That is why he is welcoming the rain showers. But it’s got to be the right kind of rain. “We don’t like the deluges. Heavy wind,” said Gehring.
That’s the flip side of watery weather which can also impact more populated areas. That’s why Albany’s Water Department Commissioner Joe Coffey sent out an advisory on social media after seeing the storm forecast. “Be alert. And if you have a flooded street in front of you, please don’t drive through it,” he said. But all too often, drivers do just that.
Coffey also advised pedestrians to avoid flooded streets as well. “Sometimes, the manhole covers will kind of pop off. You can have a 2- to 3-foot-diameter opening and if you fall into it, be swept away.” He says he’s actually heard of this happening in other communities.
Back on the farm, Gehring knows that not all storms are equal and wind or hail can make or break a farmer’s season. “So severe weather is what we don’t want. We want some nice, soothing rain and it would be nice if it happened from midnight to six in the morning,” he said, chuckling.