End of November, almost Thanksgiving, I was feeling exhausted. Maybe, I thought, it was just the hustle and bustle of holiday prep. On the other hand, by late November, people, some of them …
End of November, almost Thanksgiving, I was feeling exhausted. Maybe, I thought, it was just the hustle and bustle of holiday prep. On the other hand, by late November, people, some of them formidable athletes, were succumbing to breakthrough Covid all around me.
A friend recommended I visit a walk-in clinic in South Fallsburg, Chai Urgent Care Center (+845-409-2424, www.chaicare.org). I made the short drive over and discovered a small cozy storefront clinic on the main drag. Within twenty minutes of my arrival a kind and laughing nurse was administering me two covid tests.
If you need a covid test or have some other urgent medical need, there is no need to spend hours in an emergency room while the Chai team are ready for you in South Fallsburg. Specific hours of operation are posted on their website. Hop to it, Reader, and tape this column to your fridge door!
On another front. If you have driven down Pine Grove Road the last few days, you will have seen the big machines hauled up on both sides of the gulley where our Ida-ruined Pine Grove culvert once sat. Huge black replacement pipes now perch like ravens on the north side of the gulley.
I called up Bethel Town Supervisor Dan Sturm for more details about the reconstruction of this vitally important piece of municipal infrastructure. Sturm reports that the repairs begun before Christmas entail the removal of the old 90-foot culvert pipe, the creation of a temporary drainway alongside the resting place of the old and new culvert, and the installation of a new, somewhat pear-shaped 16’ pipe which will sit atop an anchoring concrete base. FEMA and New York State will bear 88% of the total approximate cost of $500K (leaving Bethel to pick up $60K).
NYS Assemblymember Aileen Gunther helped organize NYS funds to offset some of the high costs of this repair. Sturm hopes that if winter weather remains favorable, Pine Grove Road could reopen as early as the end of January, 2022 as a crushed-gravel road. Blacktop will follow in warmer weather. In the spring, the roads damaged by heavy detour traffic will be repaired by the Town.
Hurricane Ida, whose ferocious remnants passed over us on September 3rd last year, wrought enormous water damage here in the Northeast—estimates float between $16,000,000,000 and $24,000,000,000. Inconceivable sums! Ida’s ten inches of rain sacked NYC and Sullivan County; the storm even swept away our little wooden walking bridge near the point where Lybolt Brook and White Lake Brook merge.
Sturm reports that a redesigned and upgraded walking bridge will soon be out for bid. That’s good to hear and it's to be hoped the new bridge will accommodate the kind of geometric flow that took out the old one. (At one point in early September the gentle Lybolt, normally a shallow and gurgling brook barely twenty feet across, was a torrent hundreds of feet wide).
It is time we as a County and a society begin to build back better. Simple replacement of ruined infrastructure when the climate is so rapidly changing is only an invitation for the next, inevitably bigger storms to sack us again.
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