Flooding, washed out roads in Rensselaerville

RENSSELAERVILLE – The large rectangular sign fastened to the chain link fence at the Rensselaerville Town Park urges resident to donate money so that the tennis court can be resurfaced. After Saturday’s heavy, persistent rainfall, the urgency to raise that money seems even greater.

It wasn’t just a tennis court that wound up under water. Picnic tables, children’s playground apparatus, and adjacent athletic fields were also at the mercy of Mother Nature Saturday as torrential rain pelted the hill towns and pooled in dangerous and inconvenient places.

“It’s become almost normal,” said Barry Kuhar, a long time resident of Rensselaerville, “There’s no little tiny storms any more.”

Saturday’s less-than-tiny storm dumped more than four inches of rain on the more-than-tiny hamlet where roads became flooded and residents quickly became aware they were witnessing something other than an ordinary October surprise.

“I went out shortly after noon to drive from one side of the valley to the other,” said Sarah Nelson, “It was about a five minute drive and I could see that there was way more water coming down the hills than usual.”

Just outside the hamlet, the heavy rush of water washed away the earth and gravel beneath County Route 353, exposing subterranean infrastructure, but more significantly causing asphalt to cave in, which shut down the road until further notice.

“This is global warming at its best out here,” Kuhar surmised, “These are black and white fixes. You can’t fix Mother Nature.”