Dam breach leaves big concerns for Stephentown homeowner

[anvplayer video=”5186461″ station=”998132″]

Cleanup and repairs continue in Stephentown, where a massive runoff of water caused by a beaver dam breach wreaked havoc on the rural countryside, early Monday morning.

When water came rushing down the hillside in the predawn hours, a house on Garfield Road stood in its path.

A man inside that home, Stephentown Fire Lieutenant Ian Lanier, has lived on Garfield Road for 40 years.

He woke up Monday morning, looked out his front window and saw hundreds of thousands of gallons of water not just rushing down the hill across the road, but into his basement and barn.

That’s what happens when the beaver dam up on top of the hill gives way, allowing 44 acres of pond water to escape, and cascade rapidly down through the thickly wooded hillside.

Lanier couldn’t get out of his house, he said.

All he could do – while standing in his pajamas – was seek refuge on the second floor, and hope for the best.

His old mill house – which dates back to the 1890s – somehow survived the deluge of water. His newly landscaped lawn did not.

Everything washed away into the Kinderhook Creek, which flows behind his home.

There is foundation damage, said Lanier, but he seems confident the damage can be repaired.

He is grateful to friends, neighbors, fellow firefighters, and county road crews – all of whom have reached out to him.

Now Lanier is concerned that if changes aren’t made, what happened Monday could happen again.

Take a look at some of the damage by watching the video of Dan Levys story.