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July 24, 2013

Heavy rains, flash floods soak region

By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Scattered problems persisted in Oneonta on Tuesday as the town and village cleaned up from flash-flooding that hit the area Monday evening.

Dispatchers indicated that Oneonta was among the areas hardest hit by the heavy rains, which started at about 8 p.m. According to the National Weather Service in Binghamton, 4.22 inches of rain fell on Oneonta for the 24-hour period ending 7 a.m. July 23. With nearly complete records for the month, the precipitation total for the rest of July is about 1.81 inches.

Oneonta Police Chief Dennis Nayor said that Gas Avenue remains closed to traffic Tuesday. The roadway was unsafe from the rains. Areas of Chestnut Street and South Main and Market streets were closed until about 9:30 p.m. Monday, he said. There were also issues on Ravine Parkway and Crestmont Terrace, he said.

“We were relatively lucky,” Nayor said. “It could have been a lot worse.”

The fire department had to pump out the basement of City Hall, which was in the process of being cleaned up Tuesday. Fire Chief Patrick Pidgeon did not return a call for comment.

Oneonta City Clerk Doug Kendall said there were some damaged records but nothing appeared to be destroyed. The situation was still being assessed.

The Daily Star building was also damaged in the storm. Publisher Mitchell Lynch said there was flooding in several areas of the building, including the press and mail rooms. The main damage was to the phone system that went out Monday evening and was returning back to service Tuesday afternoon.

Oneonta Town Supervisor Robert Wood said that there was a washout on a shoulder of a section of West Street. The road was closed to allow crews to work on it, but was expected to be open by the end of the day.

Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said the city was affected in a lot of small ways, including debris in the street, and washed out culverts, but there did not appear to be anything major.