18 months after the flood, Schoharie opens replacement fire station

Posted at: 02/21/2013 4:35 PM
Updated at: 02/21/2013 6:20 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

SCHOHARIE - With a snip of the ceremonial red ribbon, the vagabond life was largely ended for the Schoharie Fire Department.

"So many of us who've lived through this understand the struggle that we face and we say a prayer for those and we support those who were hit by Sandy and we live it and the challenges, we still haven't gotten away from it," said Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R - Schoharie). "it's still there with us."

When floods poured over the banks of the Schoharie Creek 18 months ago, water kept rising until there was seven feet covering the ground level of the fire station on Grand Street.

Cleaning up and moving back in wasn't an option.

"Once we started the process, it became evident... we were not going to be able to rebuild where we were," said Building Chairman John Wolfe. "The one estimate was that we would have to raise the building nine feet in the air" (to position the building above the level of a once-in-500 years flood).

So department officials moved their fire fighting apparatus to makeshift quarters while they searched for a location on higher ground.

They found it on Fort Road, above where even a 500 year flood is expected to level off.

The basic metal building is considered temporary.

The planned permanent structure is taped up on a wall, but at least now there's a place for the trucks, the gear and the volunteers.