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Keene Valley farmer tells of flood damage

April 30, 2011
By NATHAN BROWN - Staff Writer ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

When the East Branch of the AuSable River rose quickly Thursday morning, it washed away part of Rivermede Farm in Keene Valley.

Rob Hastings, the farm's third-generation owner, told the Enterprise Friday morning that the flood washed away half of his deer fencing, the storage tanks for his farm's maple works, some maple equipment and most of a culvert, leaving only one pipe.

It also flooded his greenhouse, Hastings said. The only plants lost were his salad greens, since everything else was up on benches.

Also, the farm's four "high tunnels," unheated greenhouses housing raspberries and strawberries, were still underwater Friday morning, but Hastings said the losses weren't as bad as they could have been. Due to the lateness of spring this year, he hadn't planted as much as he normally would have by this time.

"It's not a total disaster, but it does set things back," Hastings said. "It's like anything in farming. You just grin and bear it, and move on."

The river receded later Thursday, taking all day to do so, Hastings said. It was back within its banks Friday morning, but Hastings said the groundwater was still high and there were patches of water on his property.



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