334 Middletown structures damaged in flooding

By Brian Sweeney
A total of 334 structures in the Town of Middletown sustained varying degrees of damage from the August 28 flood.

Middletown Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) Patrick Davis presented a report to the town board last Tuesday outlining the work that he performed, along with other inspectors who were engaged to help assess the damage.

Mr. Davis said 77 structures in the town, 66 in Fleischmanns and 86 in Margaretville sustained damage from the historic flood.

In Margaretville, severe damage to several buildings posed an immediate threat, Mr. Davis explained.

An ongoing issue surrounds the back of buildings along Main Street, from the Cheese Barrel to the Suites on Main. The day after the flood, it was discovered the two buildings in the middle of the block (which house The Village Pub and Rocko’s Minerals, as well as several appartments), has pulled away four inches from the sidewalk and posed a risk of collapsing.

To raze or save?
Mr. Davis said last week that several engineers evaluated the buildings. Because of the interconnection of the buildings and the danger of collapse, a recommendation to demolish the entire block was made by Lamont Engineers.

Subsequent engineering findings have supported a plan to stabilize the structures and reinforce them, as necessary. Mr. Davis said he is working with the four building owners to determine a course of action.

He indicated that, in the meantime, the buildings are being monitored for additional shifting. Bridge Street and the portion of Main Street in front of the block will remain closed until the stability issues are addressed, he said. Mr. Davis estimated that this process should take about a month.

An inspection of the CVS Pharmacy, located adjacent to the Freshtown Supermarket, revealed a hole 40 feet long, 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep under the northwest corner of the building. The building was sealed off and about 9:30 a.m. on Monday, the roof collapsed. The CEO said he then ordered the remainder of the building to be razed, for safety purposes.

CVS has relocated to a space in The Commons Building on Main Street. The company is still deciding on a permanent store location, according to Public Relations Director Mike DeAngelis.

“We have no announcement regarding plans to rebuild the Margaretville store at this time. We are focused right now on ensuring that our patients continue to have access to their prescriptions at our relocated pharmacy in the Commons Building. We plan to operate at this site indefinitely as we evaluate our future options locally,” Mr. DeAngelis told the News.

The owners of Freshtown could not be reached this week for comments on the future of the supermarket.