City dredges Halleck's Ravine in South Utica following flooding

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Contractors spent a rainy Tuesday morning dredging out and widening Halleck's Ravine in South Utica. Heavy equipment operators got into the ravine in a wooded area behind a doctor's office on the 2300 block of Genesee Street.

Heavy rains mid-week caused waters to rise, carrying logs and other debris over the ravine's headwall, and into a tunnel several yards west of the ravine. There, the items block the flow of water, causing it to overflow, creating a small river across Genesee Street and onto Roosevelt Drive.

That south Utica street on Thursday resembled a war zone, with mud, branches and garbage lining the street. Basements filled with water. The force of the water lifted some homes right off of their foundations.

Utica Mayor David Roefaro watched the excavation on Tuesday, saying that the city couldn't have done anything differently during or immediately prior to last week's heavy rains that would have prevented the devastating flooding on Roosevelt Drive.

"This was cleaned out last week," Roefaro said. "After the rainstorm last week it brought so much debris and it really narrowed this creek."

Roefaro says some of the debris causing problems in the creek flows from other communities, including New Hartford and Deerfield. He says he plans on setting up meetings with officials in those towns next week to figure out how they can all work together to prevent future flooding.

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