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Overview

On August 28, 2011, Hurricane Irene, the first major hurricane of the season, inflicted extensive damage to much of the East Coast of the United States and Canada.  By the time it reached the State of New York it had been downgraded to a tropical storm with sustained winds at 65 miles per hour.  One of the communities that suffered severe damage from the storm is Blenheim, a small town in upstate New York, situated along State Route 30, at the northern edge of the Catskill Mountains and the southern edge of the Schoharie Valley.

Blenheim was once a thriving community with a strong agricultural base and diverse Main Street businesses.  Tropical Storm Irene devastated private and public property throughout Schoharie Valley, inundating Blenheim with record levels of flooding that surpassed all previous flood incidents.  In response, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Long-Term Community Recovery (LTCR) program became directly involved with the recovery of the Town of Blenheim.

Blenheim has a rich cultural heritage strengthened by an awareness of the blended values of a small town. Community leaders recognized the potential for applying the Long-Term Community Recovery practices within their community in order to stimulate the revitalization of agriculture, local businesses, entrepreneurism, art, and tourism. Residents have been proactive during the recovery process and have taken complete stewardship of planning the long-term restoration of the Blenheim community. SEE THE LONG TERM RECOVERY PLAN BOOK LINK BELOW.

Three subcommittees were formed early in the recovery planning process:

• Infrastructure and Hazard Mitigation

• Community Resources and Identity

• Economic Development

These subcommittees established a broad community vision and more specific recovery goals based on feedback from the first community-wide meeting.  Subcommittee members used the vision and goals as a framework for generating a robust set of long-term community recovery projects, which encompassed a range of endeavors such as improving area telecommunications capabilities, supporting local businesses through a small business incubator, and restoring cultural resources like the iconic Blenheim Bridge and the School House Museum.

Community leaders view the resulting projects in this plan as the beginning of a sustained, vigorous, and committed process leading to Blenheim’s full recovery.  Always seeking interested persons who can contribute to enhancing the community… The Blenheim Long Term Community Recovery Committee meets every other Thursday, 10 a.m., Town Hall.

Click Here to Read the: BLENHEIM LONG TERM RECOVERY PLAN