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Local News

September 9, 2011

Area crews scramble as flood waters near crest

'Catastrophic flooding' inundates Sidney area

Though some areas were starting to recover from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee on Thursday, several localities along the Susquehanna River dealt with more flooding.

There were numerous roads closed, and schools were canceled throughout much of the area because of the storm the started late Tuesday. Some districts announced Thursday they will be closed today. These include Oneonta City School District, Afton and Bainbridge-Guilford Central schools. Downsville Central School announced a two-hour delay.

"Catastrophic flooding" in Sidney could be similar to what hit the area in 2006, Delaware County Emergency Services Director Richard Bell said. His agency was preparing for a "significant" event, with the river cresting Thursday evening.

According to the National Weather Service, at 8 p.m. the river at Unadilla was at 16.24 feet; the 2006 historic crest was 17.72 feet. The river at Bainbridge was at 26.07 feet, with the 2006 peak at 27.03 feet. It did not list the Sidney totals.

Delaware County Emergency Services personnel were watching the situation at Deposit, with the Cannonsville Reservoir spilling. The Pepacton Reservoir continues to spill, but areas in Downsville and sites in Colchester south of the dam have been evacuated, Bell said. Areas that were flooded late last month, including Margaretville and Fleischmanns, were not significantly impacted by this event.

In the village of Sidney, with flooding forcing the evacuation of homes and businesses in areas near the Susquehanna River, a curfew from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. has been established, Mayor Andrew Matviak said. This includes the area north of the railroad tracks. The river appeared to have peaked at about 8 p.m. The situation, including the state of emergency, will be evaluated this morning, he said.

There were about 100 people at the town shelter set up at the middle school. That was opened after the American Red Cross Shelter at St. Luke's Lutheran Church was filled, with 40 residents.

Amphenol Corp. is getting some severe flooding and it was taking emergency measures, he said. Personnel there could not be reached. MeadWestvaco was closed because of the weather, but they did not have any damage from the storm, Matviak said.

Chenango County

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