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Local News

March 19, 2013

Federal funding set for gauges

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has earmarked $215,000 to continue operating stream and river gauges in the Susquehanna River Basin to help forecast flooding, U.S. senators from New York announced Monday.

“Residents and business owners living along the Susquehanna River Basin can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that dozens of stream and river gauges in the Southern Tier will be up-and-running for the coming year,” Schumer said. “I’ll continue to work on finding a permanent source of funding for these gauges.”

Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said NOAA set aside a portion of its disaster-relief funding to keep dozens of gauges in the Susquehanna River Basin online. The devices are critical in determining when waterways in the basin are nearing flood stages, the senators said.

Last month, Schumer announced that the U.S. Geological Survey had agreed to keep the gauges going until June 1 instead of shutting them off March 1.

The National Weather Service uses stream gauges to provide flood forecasting and warning information about potential natural disasters, the release said, and flooding from tropical storms Irene and Lee were reminders of “the vital importance’’ of NWS forecasts.

The monitoring system includes stream gauges in Chenango County at Greene, Norwich, Oxford, and Sherburne on the Chenango River, at Bainbridge on the Susquehanna River and at Rockdale on the Unadilla River; and in Otsego County at Oneonta on the Susquehanna River, a media release said.

Also, of the 16 rain gauges that will remain in operation, local devices are in Bainbridge, Oxford, Sherburne, Oneonta, Morris and in Schoharie County at Charlotteville.

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