By Jeanne Sager
LIVINGSTON MANOR September 21, 2004 The Town of Rockland knows that phrase opening the floodgates firsthand.
When the rain from Hurricane Ivan came pounding down in Sullivan County Friday night, the hamlets of Roscoe and Livingston Manor were among the first to heed the warning in Sullivan County.
Director of Emergency Management Dick Martinkovic got calls first on Roscoe where the bridges were covered with water at just 4 a.m. and the Twin Island Campgrounds had to be evacuated, then on Livingston Manor where the water was up over Main Street.
Livingston Manor business owner George Fulton watched the water breach the banks.
He said the problem is, and has always been, the Beaverkill it slowly fills, and theres nowhere for the waters of the Willowemoc to go.
While its the Willowemoc actually breaching Manors banks, Fulton said the problem lies at the end where the creek meets up with the Beaverkill.
Picture a freight train going by at 40 mph and youre trying to go through, he said. Its just moving too fast.
If the Beaverkill did not flow, Livingston Manor would not flood, he continued. Its the slow buildup that floods Livingston Manor.
Fulton said its a shame to see all the work folks have done in the hamlet go to waste because nothing has been done to protect the businesses and homes along the waterway.
Its like fixing a house inside when the roof leaks, he said. Its too bad folks put a lot of money into things, and theyve got a lot of water in their buildings.
Manor resident Scott Sparling woke up Saturday morning to a backyard literally full of water.
It went from being a small, small pond to a massive lake, he said.
Just down the road from his home the cemetery on Covered Bridge Road was underwater, and families in that area suffered what are reportedly total losses. The road itself was washed out in more than one spot, Sparling said.
It was a lot worse than I thought it would be, he said Monday.
Town of Rockland Supervisor Pat Pomeroy said its a lot worse than anyone thought but the damage was in places you could almost expect.
Folks who live near the sewage treatment plant, those on Pearl, Meadow and Pleasant streets and Covered Bridge Lane in the Manor are all slowly recovering from massive damage, she said, as theyve done many times before.
The families who were displaced are being relocated with the help of social services.
As a Manor business owner, Pomeroy spent Sunday mucking out her own office on Main Street where she said many were hard hit.
As for Roscoe, some in the Yorktown area on Gulf Road had to be evacuated because of the massive amount of water, she said.
The Rockland Campground lost everything, she continued, and the Roscoe Motel had to be evacuated because the water was running right through the rooms.
The athletic fields at the Roscoe Central School were full too the spot where kids play football and soccer had become a virtual lake by mid Saturday morning.
By this afternoon at 4 p.m., Pomeroy will have to make a full accounting to the State Emergency Management Office of the damage to her town.
Reports from townspeople, along with a tour of the town with Highway Superintendent Bowman Owen, will give her an idea of what to report.
The focus now is on recovery, she said.
Some people are used to it, some are not some will never get used to it because its just so devastating, Pomeroy said.