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Watershed Post Uses Hyperlocal Connections To Coordinate New York Relief Efforts

Watershed Post

The catskills region of upstate New York was hit hard by Hurricane Irene and in the wake of that regions misfortune hyperlocal news website Watershed Post is helping coordinate relief efforts while trying to connect stranded citizens.

Watershed specifically covers the bucolic area surrounding New York City’s watershed and according to site editors and co-founders Julia Reischel and Lisa Harris they are scrambling to help everyone they can since the area is a “news desert.”

To help people in the region the site is live blogging events and aggregating official updates whenever possible, while acting as a forum for witnesses to share information.

According to the site residents are using the hyperlocal location to find love ones, share their locations and even to warn readers about bad roads, closed bridges and other hazards that could get in the way.

The live part of the site which launched on Saturday night is so popular that several posts a minute are currently being observed by the sites followers.

The Watershed Post is using the Demand Media owned CoverItLive software to live blog and the advertisements on that platform had been causing site issues, however after a request from Reischel and Harris Demand Media suspended the ads, allowing the program to run far more smoothly.

What’s most amazing about the effort is that Reischel says the company is receiving various phone calls for rescue efforts, making then a “sort of…relief organization.”

How popular is the site? Reischel and Harris said they don’t have to go out to find information because so much news is coming in from the five counties and fifty towns they support. It’s probably good they don’t have to travel outside of the home where they run their business as some areas are still considered dangerous.