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Water, Water Everywhere!

A heated camping tent used for local gatherings by some neighbors became part of the Moodna Creek on Orrs Mills Road

One of many homes in the area where the Moodna Creek widened its shores, right up to (and sometimes right through) the back door.

Blooming Grove/Washingtonville/ Chester - A perfect storm, this one called "Finn", hit Orange County's Eastern quadrant hard again late Tuesday evening.. It wasn't just the rain, which was in one night nearly what one would expect over a month's time. It was hard and fast rain hitting remnants of a foot of snow with frozen and saturated ground beneath, and a temperature spike from several nights in the 20's up to 50 degrees.

Cromline Creek intermittent tributary making its way through the fields between Route 94 to the wetlands along Round Hill Road

No extreme local emergencies were noted, but a few local roads were temperarily closed Tuesday evening and there were plenty of folks busy with sump pumps and wet vacs, especially along the Moodna Creek which crept within 15 feet of Route 94 near Salisbury Mills. Just around the corner on Orr's Mills Rd. a heated hangout camping tent used by residents for evening gatherings was completely surrounded by water. Mountain Lodge Trails sustained numerous washouts as did Prospect Road north of Peddler Hill. Washingtonville DPW staff were out along the Route 94 with trucks sucking up water for one after another homeowner who had ponds in their yards coming perilously close to their houses. On Greycourt Road the fields along either side became a seasonal lakes that this time came into backyards at the edge of the Village of Chester, with the solid fencing of one home halfway under water.

Residents know the routine, but with more rain predicted for the coming week they re praying that at least most of Tuesday night's deluge gets absorbed in time to be ready to absob some more.

Not raised to run from a challenge, the local mantras are much the same as every other flood, "It could have been much worse", and "How do we make it better for the next time?" The larger concern is "How much worse will all of this precipitation get over time? It may be fun to notice bright yellow dandelions thriving in mid-January, but cleaning up floodwaters is absolutely no fun at all.

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