Nine years after Hurricane Irene, Prattsville church gets its new organ installed

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PRATTSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10)—Nine years ago, Tropical Depression Irene flooded Prattsville, a small Greene County mountain community. The storm left behind three feet of mud inside the historic Reformed Dutch Church.  The pews, organ, and basement were flooded and mold set in.

“We had a building on the back, the church hall, and it washed away,” said Diana Jaeger, a long-time member of the church. “We had five feet of water going through the sanctuary.”

As the community struggled to rebuild the church, the pastor’s home was first on the list for repairs.  In 2014 a new organ was installed in the chapel attached to the pastor’s home.

The Allen organ left its temporary home to head to the rebuilt Reformed Church

Repairs to the church took nine years and the organ was finally placed in its permanent home on Friday.

The baptismal fount washed out of the church and ended up in reservoir where it was recovered and rebuilt.

Claudia Bracaliello, the church organ player, was on hand with her teacher Carl Hackert to disassemble the Allen Organ. Once removed from the small chapel, the organ was loaded in a trailer for the short drive to the church.

This is the water level line on a window pane at the church.

“Today is very important it gets this instrument where it belongs,” Bracaliello said Friday.

The church still needs repairs to the outside; however, Pastor Alisha Riepma is looking forward to hearing the organ play during services beginning in November.

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