The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

November 12, 2012

Deposit became civil defense evacuation zone in 1957 test

The village of Deposit, which is split between Delaware and Broome counties, had about 2,000 residents back in May 1957. On Sunday, May 5, the village almost doubled in population. The visitors were expected, although the theme of their arrival was a bit sobering. It was for a mass evacuation of nearby Binghamton residents, as a history-making exercise in civil defense.

It was called “Evac-12,” as 1,448 men, women and children departed Binghamton’s 12th Ward, on the city’s east side. The Binghamton Press reported, “Future planning for America’s survival against the H-bomb will hinge on the success or failure of the test. It will be the first mass evacuation test of such magnitude in the nation.”

Some of Oneonta and Otsego County were observers and participants in the exercise. An Oneonta Star reporter was present, as were James Georgeson, then a state civil defense field representative and future Oneonta mayor; Bert Lowe of Schenevus; Otsego County civil defense director; and Oneonta city cvil defense Director John Eggleston.

An air raid siren sounded in Binghamton at 1:15 p.m., and residents knew what they had to do, as about a year of planning, training and testing had been invested for this survival exercise. Civil defense wardens arrived and controlled the evacuation.

At 1:30, the first of about 500 people emulating panic left their homes and climbed into about 120 automobiles. Others weren’t displaying panic, as planned, got into automobiles, and all began their 28-mile trip along state Route 17. Nearly 110 people boarded an Erie-Lackawanna passenger train, which served as a traveling hospital for patients. School buses were also deployed. Had this been a real attack, Deposit would’ve been expected to handle upward of 10,500 people.

According to the Star, when people arrived in Deposit, “The modern high school served as general headquarters, where medical treatment, food and other services were available.” To add some realism to the arrival, those not “injured or dead” were directed by civil defense wardens to many homes that had opened their doors to the evacuees.

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio
Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column

Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway

Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

Is Israel justified to conduct its military campaign against the Hamas in Gaza?

Yes
No
Undecided/no opinion
     View Results