10 years later, Prattsville recognizes progress made after Irene’s devastation

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PRATTSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Prattsville community came together Saturday, 10 years after Tropical Storm Irene brought devastation to the area, to celebrate the progress the town has made in the years since the storm.

Prattsville was devastated after Irene’s heavy rains brought catastrophic flooding, impacting homes and businesses throughout the community. “It looked like a bomb went off, literally, like we’re at war,” Ann O’Hara explained.

Ten years ago Saturday, O’Hara, who lived in Windham at the time, made her way from her home to her mother’s house in Prattsville. “I went in. The first thing I saw was there was trees in the living room. Furniture was upside down. There was probably three to four feet of mud,” she said. “I could not believe what I was seeing. it was like something out of a bad bad movie.”

Irene’s rains led to catastrophic and record flooding along the Schoharie Creek, but a decade later, O’Hara is proud of how far the town has come and has even brought a new business to Main Street. “We all got together and said, ‘We’re all going to do this, we’re all going to clean this out, and we’re going to make it,’ because we’re pretty strong.”

The town recognizing that progress this weekend with the Prattsville Still Afloat Celebration, featuring ceremonies, music, vendors, and more.

This weekend also marked the reopening of the Zadock Pratt Museum, a staple of the community, after it suffered devastating flooding a decade ago.

“We are very proud of our town, we’re really proud to open the doors, not only at the museum, but the town itself,” said Mary O’Hara, the vice president of the museum.

While renovations are ongoing, the museum is back open and features a community-led exhibit on how the flood impacted Prattsville.

“You will notice here also in the town, the resilience of the people. How we did survive. How we still survive,” the museum’s vice president explained.

Mud has been intentionally left on some of the exhibits, showing how the flood and the subsequent recovery has become a part of the town’s long history.

“This was the beginning of Prattsville, then this came through, and here’s the mud. You’ve got this, and then you’ve got the mud. This was the beginning and this is what we experienced, but we’re still here,” O’Hara said, pointing to a model of Zadock Pratt’s tannery.

The Still Afloat Celebration continues Sunday.

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