LAKE PLACID - A farm damaged by flood waters from the West Branch of the AuSable River last year will celebrate its reopening on Friday.
Snowslip Farm, owned and operated by the Trevor family, is located on River Road. Lesley Trevor said her family has spent the last year recovering from heavy damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene.
"We had four floods last year," she said. "It was a crazy year. ... Our farm is built above the 100-year floodplain. When Hurricane Irene came, we had no idea what we in store for us that day.
Snowslip Farm owner Lesley Trevor, left, and her daughter, certified horseback riding instructor Emily Cummin, have been busy cleaning up and rebuilding since Tropical Storm Irene heavily damaged the Lake Placid farm last year.
(Enterprise photo — Chris Morris)
"Sometime in the afternoon, I was in the horse barn, and the horses were really getting frantic. ... All of a sudden, this entire wall of water just came in and flooded the whole barn. It was really terrifying. I'm assuming that was when Marcy Dam broke. Our neighbor was out in the field at the moment; the water was at his feet, and all of a sudden at his chest."
After the initial flooding, emergency crews told Trevor they wouldn't be able to rescue the farm's horses because they had to put human safety first.
"I accepted that," she said. "So I said good-bye to all of the horses. Then when they came and they saw the horses in the water, they said, 'We can't leave these guys.' Those guys are heroes. They're amazing."
The 125-acre farm was formerly owned by the Lake Placid Club. Trevor said the land has been farmed since the turn of the last century, and the soils are recognized by the state as "prime farm land" and "farm land of statewide importance." Eighty acres are set aside for farming, and the rest is wetland. The Trevor family has owned the land since 2008.
During a tour of the farm last week, Trevor told the Enterprise that recovery efforts are about 70 percent complete. New structures have been built, and farm workers have been busy restoring fields.
"All of our buildings were built really strongly, so we had no damage to the exteriors," Trevor said. "But the interiors were totally wrecked. So that's what we've been focusing on: getting the interiors back into shape.
If you go ...
What: Celebration and reception
Where: Snowslip Farm, River Road, Lake Placid
When: 6 p.m. Friday
"We're definitely a season behind in flood recovery. We were able to get the horses back. We have not been able to clean out the greenhouses, the fields ... and all of our plantings are behind schedule."
The farm has a large customer base throughout the region. It sells produce at a market on site and at stores like Green Goddess in Lake Placid.
"We also serve as a base for farmers out in the Lake Champlain area - Essex, Westport. We're an important resource for farmers who want to sell up here," Trevor said.
Friday's reopening celebration will feature a 90-minute horse demonstration by equine behaviorist Kathryn Kincannon-Irwin, who will discuss how horses and their body language "can help humans learn more about themselves," Trevor said in an email.
Generations Restaurant will host a reception at the farm following the demonstration.
Contact Chris Morris at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.