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Flooding: Shared Problem, Shared Solution

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - As rain continues to fall, city of Utica officials have been busy around the clock checking its creeks and ravines.

They've had heavy equipment in Halleck's Ravine behind the 2300 block of Genesee Street, making the ravine wider and removing debris. Follow Halleck's Ravine south into the town of New Hartford, south of Oneida Street, and you will see a waterway compromised by branches, beneath a roadway that's beginning to buckle from water damage.

"That's the main issue here is the maintenance, and I know sometimes maintenance costs money, but it has to be done," says Deputy City Engineer Goran Smiljic.

Utica Mayor David Roefaro on Tuesday talked about reaching out to leaders in neighboring municipalities to talk about how they could work together to prevent future flooding in all of their communities.

In Deerfield, what Utica city engineers call, "the next nightmare waiting to happen" - a large, uprooted tree, lying in what's known as Roseclair Creek, surrounded by other trees, bent and waiting to break off and fall into the creek.

City leaders warn that all of these are potential flood hazards that can interrupt the flow of water, especially under continued steady rains.

With rain continuing to fall, city officials have their hands full maintaining and checking the city's creeks and waterways. Once the rain stops, the mayor plans to meet with officials from both New Hartford and Deerfield about future flood prevention.

Deerfield Highway Superintendent Sam Arcuri says crews there have been busy trying to re-open roads closed due to last week's flooding, but that the town will gladly discuss flood prevention options with Utica city officials. Arcuri also points out that some of the potential problems are in the town, but on private property.

New Hartford Town Supervisor Patrick Tyksinski says town highway officials are aware of the problem of branches and debris in Hallecks's Ravine and are getting to it.

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