Beginning the morning of August 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene made its way up the East Coast cutting a swath through the Catskill Mountains, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. John and Capella Mann, on their yearly summer sojurn to Big Indian, reported that Lost Clove Road (alongside Rudi’s Big Indian Center) become a four-foot river as the waters poured off the mountain.
The region had experienced a very wet and rainy spring all the way through July with intermittant rain thereafter. When the hurricane hit, the ground was already saturated. As a result the unrelenting downpour over two days amassed quickly, filling streams and rivers to overflowing, sometimes creating new gulleys where there were none before. Much of Lost Clove Road was barely drivable after the hurricane, and shoulders were severely damaged in some areas.
The most visible destruction occurred at the bridge that crossed the stream that runs adjacent to Lost Clove Road (as shown above). The swift waters tore away stone, asphalt, rock, and soil that created the bridge, making it impassable except by foot.
In addition, another torrent of water came pouring off the mountain that is above Rudi’s shrine, inexplicably creating a new eight-foot gully (shown in the pix to left) to the far left of the Shrine, pouring its contents into the pond. Water overflowed the pond and poured down road unimpeded to the bridge which eroded it further.
The good news: John and Capella were safely ensconsed in the cabin on the hill, high above the fray. And not surprisingly Rudi’s Shrine remained unaffected. Even the spring that feeds the pond was unharmed. Additional good news is that a local road contractor who lives on Lost Clove Road executed speedy make-do repairs, even making the bridge (shown above) functioning again.