In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes, The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes has published a five part podcast series called Tales from Agnes. The podcasts can be heard at

The podcasts are straight-up story telling in the voice of the people of the Chemung Valley in the Southern Tier of New York who lived through the Flood. There are no sound effects or music – none of the bells and whistles we’ve become so accustomed to when we are “entertained.” The real rhythm and language of the people of the region are captured. The ARTS Council collected the stories for Tales from Agnes using a digital voice mail service. These stories have been shaped into brief, thematic episodes. Each podcast is between 9 and 16 minutes long.

Four podcasts of the five podcasts have been published so far, including:

1) Premonitions and Propaganda (11:19) examines the days leading up to the flood and the information (or lack thereof) received by local residents from government officials;

2) Danger and Devastation (12:48) describes the bizarre experiences and sense of isolation related by witnesses of the flooding;

3) Strandedness and Salvation (15:45) tells of people taking risks to help each other in the midst of the flooding. It describes community members trying to rescue stranded possessions and people; some were saved and some were not.

4) Anecdotes from Agnes (9:04) recounts some of the humorous and ironic tales that came from the Flood.

The fifth podcast, Ruin and Renewal, will be released on The ARTS Council’s website Monday, July 2, 2012. It tells some of the tales of the clean-up after the Flood.

Anyone who wishes to contribute a story can call the toll free voice mail service at 1-866-598-7273. There are no prompts, simply leave your story. There is no limit, so feel free to tell your whole story. Every story is important. The ARTS Council will archive all of the stories with the Southeast Steuben County Library and the Corning-Painted Post Historical Society in Corning, and the Steele Memorial Library and the Chemung Valley History Museum in Elmira.

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