RHINEBECK, NY (WCBS 880) — Hurricane Irene has robbed the Hudson Valley of a beloved summer experience and threatens a historic park that stretches over the river.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Deborah Rodriguez reports

Crews worked through they night and into today tearing down the Dutchess County fair. General manager Bob Grems says it’s the first two-day closing in the fair’s 166 years but it had to be done.

“I just couldn’t put in harm’s way the hundreds of workers, the young men and women who come and park cars and keep us clean,” said Grems.

Ten miles south of Rhinebeck in Poughkeepsie, they’ve evacuated about 150 families who live close to the new walkway over the Hudson, a refurbished railroad bridge that dates back to 1888.

A study shows it cannot handle winds over 80 miles an hour and reinforcements are scheduled to begin soon.

Forecasters say Irene’s full fury will begin in Dutchess County around midnight.

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