Six years after Irene, Middleburgh has a supermarket again

January 26, 2018 06:25 PM

MIDDLEBURGH - It has been over six years since anyone heard groceries drag across the supermarket scanner in Middleburgh.To hear it again means more than you can imagine for some.

"To have this come back, it means so much. Because we lost so much. It's like heaven," said Linda Rumph of Middleburgh.

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For the first time since Irene hit in 2011, Middleburgh has a supermarket again. Valley Market held its grand opening Friday.

Flooding took out the Grand Union in 2011, and residents were left to drive the 11 miles to Cobleskill. The new supermarket sits right across the closed Grand Union on Route 30 in a brand new plaza.  

Grand Union was just one victim when the Schoharie Creek rose on August 28, 2011. The mayor estimates 15 percent of the buildings in Middleburgh were damaged.

The owners of Valley Market know what it's like. Their Great American in Prattsville was flooded with 3.5 feet of water during Irene.

"There was probably 2 to 3 inches of mud on the floor. All the product in the back room, was in the front," said Jim Eisel, Valley Market.

It took them only 19 days to get back open. Middleburgh wasn't so lucky.

"The town needed us to reopen. And I think that's what Middleburgh needs, is the grocery store," said Geanine Eisel, Valley Market owner.

That's why it was standing room only in the produce section for the opening ceremony.

Developers Carver Laraway and Jim and Jason Becker also have plans for a pharmacy and other stores next door. The plaza has been in the works for two and a half years. They've wanted a supermarket longer than that.

"From day one after the flood, there were efforts to bring it back," said Mayor Matthew Avitabile.

It's been a long recovery after the flood -- and a supermarket is a very big part of getting back to normal.


Asa Stackel

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