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Impacts of Tropical Storm Irene felt across CNY

(WKTV) - Twelve hours of a steady, often heavy, rain deposited by what was once Hurricane Irene have taken a great toll on Central New York. Widespread flooding is what local residents will remember of Irene.

Parts of South Utica, at the city line along Sauquoit Creek, were evacuated by order of the city police. A State of Emergency has been declared in Herkimer County. Residents of a Senior Citizen home in Frankfort were moved to a safe location.

The high winds that might be anticipated with such a storm as Irene never hit with full force. But the saturated ground created conditions that resulted in many downed trees, as a result of winds that were in the 20 to 40 miles per hour range. There was a 63 m.p.h. gust reported in Fairfield, Herkimer County. Power lines are down across the region resulting in power out to 14,000 local National Grid customers.

A State of Emergency was declared in the Village of Whitesboro. Gardner Street, in Whitesboro, was evacuated. There were reports of people trapped in the Freight Harbor business on Commercial Drive in Yorkville. Freight Harbor Tools and its neighbor, Joe Tehan Furniture, were both victims of high water flowing over the banks of the Sauquoit Creek.

The Sauquoit Creek has been the source of a good deal of damage. There were reports of evacuations and structural damage to homes in the Sauquoit, Chadwicks and Willowvale areas. A trailer park in the area of Holman City Road was evacuated. There was also a report of a house damaged on Hand Place, between the creek and Route 8.

In Utica, Genesee Street at the southern city line, has been re-opened. At one point, the bridge that crosses over the Sauquoit Creek was closed after being threatened by the raging water in the creek. Homes on Brookline Drive in Utica were evacuated by city police.

Water rescue teams from the Oriskany and Sylvan Beach fire departments were asked to stand by at Utica, in case a water rescue was needed. Several of the side streets that run between Brookline and Sunnyside Drive were also affected by the water. Utica Police say that residents at the area are expected to be able to return to their homes early in the evening.

Several water rescues were made of people trapped in their homes by high water in the Sauquoit Valley area.

In Herkimer County, Salisbury Center closed its roads due to flooding and downed trees. The Village of Ilion and Town of Litchefield declared States of Emergency. In the North Country, there were numerous reports of trees and power lines down in Remsen, Forestport and Boonville.

Fire departments all over Central New York have been busy pumping water from flooded cellars and responding to various medical emergencies and assisting with downed power lines and trees.

As of early Sunday evening, there had been no serious injuries reported locally as a result of Irene.

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