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Local News

July 2, 2013

Officials: Flood risk remains high


The NWS in Binghamton said heavy rain could cause localized flash flooding of streams and urban and low-lying areas, and rivers already running high could flood Monday night or today.

In Otsego County, David Mattice, National Weather Service observer in Emmons, said rainfall remains in the forecast for days and follows a wet June.

Last month, rainfall in Emmons totaled 6.89 inches, Mattice said, and with the hit-or-miss pattern of thunderstorms, some other local areas had more than 10 inches of precipitation last month.

Though the June statistic at Emmons wasn’t a record, the total was 3.27 inches more than normal precipitation of 3.62 inches, Mattice said. June temperatures ranged from 36 to 88 degrees, he said, and the month overall was 1.8 degrees below normal.

On Monday, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand urged FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to swiftly approve New York state’s request for a federal state of emergency declaration because of recent severe flooding in the Capital Region, Central New York, the Southern Tier and the Hudson Valley. 

The senators’ request includes Federal Emergency Management Agency public assistance for Chenango, Delaware and Otsego, among other, counties, and hazard mitigation statewide. 

The local counties were among 15 counties declared Saturday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be in a state of emergency.

As of Monday afternoon, storms had caused minor damages to some roads in Delaware County, specifically in Hancock and Deposit, said Richard Bell, director of emergency services. The department staff was watching weather forecasts vigilantly and ready to answer any emergency calls, he said.

In Otsego county, a section of county Route 31 was washed out Friday and the highway has been closed between Cooperstown and Glimmerglass State Park.

Kevin Ritton, Otsego County Office of Emergency Services coordinator, said rainfall has caused sporadic washouts across the county, and motorists should observe detours and not drive into flooding roadways.

Crews that are called to respond to cars stalled in a flooded roadway aren’t available for other emergencies, he said, and some motorists have moved detour signs, then not replaced them.

“We are just asking people to travel with caution,” Ritton said.

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