Bridge at the Utica/New Hartford line re-opens

By WKTV News

UTICA / NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) - It was an unfortunately familiar sight for resident living near the Sauquoit creek at the border of Utica and New Hartford.

Just as roughly a week and a half ago, when Tropical Storm Irene blew through, the creek's water was rising fast and quickly crashing against the edge of the bridge on Genesee Street.

The Department of Transportation, Utica Police and the Utica Fire Department were all on the scene as the waters made their way closer to the street.

"We need to make sure the people who are enjoying this creek are safe. We want to advise them as UPD is in the process of doing right now and if it becomes more dangerous, then we'll remove them from the street and wait until the water subsides and get them back in," said Utica Fire Department Assistant Chief Pete Caruso. "As long as everybody's safe. That's the key. You walk away with nobody being hurt, it's a winner."

The scene brought out various onlookers, but officials warn to play it safe and stay out of the wet weather unless it's an absolute emergency.

"This is incredible," said Amanda Koch, a New Hartford resident who lives nearby. "And jut the sheer power of the water is just crazy...watching how much it can do."

"If your home is warm and dry, stay in it," said Utica Deputy Fire Chief Pete Caruso. "There's no point being out here in this kind of weather. Stay away from any kind of moving water and if you got a problem, call us."

The bridge at Genesee Street was closed off shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday night. Officials said it would remain closed until they get word from the D.O.T that the waters have receded.

By 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning, the road was back open.

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