More than four years after Tropical Storm Irene, signs of the its destruction can still be seen throughout Schoharie County. One thing still missing is the historic Blenheim Covered Bridge. Time Warner Cable News reporter Jon Dougherty reports the once national historic landmark is one step closer to being rebuilt.
Two concrete pillars is all that's left where the Blenheim Covered Bridge once stood over Schoharie Creek.
"This bridge was the identity of the Town of Blenheim," said Old Stone Fort Museum Director Carle Kopecky.
The bridge is still an important piece of history. It's in the town's seal and also on town vehicles.
Schoharie's Old Stone Fort Museum is now home to some of the remains from the bridge that stood for more than 150 years before it was ripped to pieces by Tropical Storm Irene.
After years of trying to get more funding to rebuild it, there's finally some hope. FEMA announced it will give the Town of Blenheim $5.8 million to reconstruct the bridge.
The remnants of the historic landmark are a constant reminder of the devastation left behind from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, but the funding is another step towards returning it to its former glory.
"Blenheim is kind of out of the way but that bridge was a major attraction. The bridge was and will be a major gathering point for community activities," Kopecky said.
Once rebuilt, town leaders said it will benefit many people.
"This will truly boost Blenheim's economy, Blenheim's ability to fully recover as a community and of course a major tourist attraction [will be] returning to Schoharie County," said Kopecky.
Also, the return of Blenheim's identity.
Town of Blenheim Treasurer William Cherry said the town will enter a design phase and is expected to seek out construction bids by next spring or summer. Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2016.