Officials keeping a close eye on Fish Creek in Sylvan Beach

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente was back out in western Oneida County on Sunday, looking closer at Fish Creek.

Posted: Jan. 14, 2018 8:34 PM
Updated: Jan. 15, 2018 9:43 AM

Sylvan Beach, N.Y. - Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente was back out in western Oneida County on Sunday, looking closer at Fish Creek.

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That creek overflowed its banks early Saturday morning due to ice jams and caused major flooding to homes in both Sylvan Beach and Vienna.

Picente, along with Kevin Revere, Director of Oneida County’s Department of Emergency Services, set up a command post at the Vienna Fire Department on Route 49, just a couple of miles from where more those more than 70 homes were flooded on Saturday in both Vienna and Sylvan Beach.

Besides the county officials, there are also representatives from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, as well as officials with the local municipalities and fire departments stationed at the command post at the Vienna Fire Department.

Picente says fire department officials were going door to door on Sunday to make sure no one in the mandatory evacuation area was still in their homes since all power had been cut off and temperatures dipped well below zero Saturday night and only into the low teens on Sunday.

The entourage of officials toured the ice jam at the end of Fish Creek in Sylvan Beach where it intersects with the Barge Canal, before dumping into Oneida Lake.

Picente says there is concern that there could be more flooding if we get another really quick warm up in temperatures like we saw this past week, “Flooding has occurred in that area, on that side of Sylvan Beach before, but not to that magnitude. The ice buildup, which is still out there, is still a concern as we move forward, especially with the weather temperatures and where they go in the next week. If it just gradually warms up we’ll be ok.”

Picente also had a drone over Fish Creek to get a better picture of where any remaining ice jams are, besides the one officials toured at the end of the creek.

He says the drone showed the only other build up was near the bridge upstream.

Picente also declared a State of Emergency in the county following the flooding in both Whitesboro on Friday and Sylvan Beach and Vienna on Saturday. He is hoping the Governor will also declare a State of Emergency in Oneida County. Picente says that could help pave the way to possibly get some federal aid for those affected.

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