Prattsville celebrates Mudfest, triumph over Irene

PRATTSVILLE, N.Y. — Mudfest 2013 is a weekend long
celebration in Prattville, a town devastated by the flooding after Hurricane
Irene two years ago.

In August of 2011, flood waters devastated the small town.  Two years later the community says they are
stronger than ever.

“It feels like yesterday sometimes, but it also
feels like such a long time ago,” said resident Ann O'hara.

O'hara was born and raised in the town, losing her
property and business in the storm like so many others.

“My family gas station washed away and my mother
lost her house.  She just moved back in
this April,” said O'hara.

Beth Ballard also saw her business destroyed but is using
this weekend to put all her energy into Mudfest- a celebration of what Prattsville
has overcome.

“People ask what we're doing celebrating a
catastrophe, but I say we are celebrating coming back better and
stronger,” said Ballard.

There was also a water blessing Friday.  It was a time for people to write their hopes
and wishes in flags and then place them along the river, because for the town's
residents, it is all about how far they've come and looking forward to the

“A lot of people weren't gonna come back but they
are in their houses today,” said Ballard.

“We are strong and we might be a little town in the
Catskills but we can do it,” said O'hara.

The Mudfest will continue Saturday.



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