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Sauquoit Creek ice jam creates flooding concern for business owners

By ANNA MEILER

WHITESBORO, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Monday's high temperatures melted chunks of ice into the Sauquoit Creek, creating an ice jam and stirring up flooding concerns for nearby business owners.

"We know that we have issues with this creek and again any time something comes up like this we try to stay on top of it to prevent anything like that from happening," said Jim Piccola, public information officer for the New York State Department of Transportation.

D.O.T. Crews started chipping away at the ice at 2 p.m. to keep the water flowing underneath the blockage.

"We're breaking it up a little bit at a time so that anything that's going downstream is not going to create issues downstream," said Piccola.

The jam stretches from the back of Joe Tahan's Furniture to Main Street. Al Tahan came down to the creek to check on conditions and make sure his store isn't in danger.

"There's always that possibility of flooding. It's a major concern to many people in the area," said Tahan.

Including the owner of Mike's Floor Store. Located next to the creek, it's been hit hard by past flooding.

"It was rotten. It really was, it was rotten," said Mike Sanfilippo, recalling the loss he experienced in June of 2013 and in several incidents in 2011.

So Sanfilippo isn't taking any chances. He stacked his belongings on shelves as soon as he heard of the jam.

"It makes me nervous. It makes me real nervous. It makes it to the point where you don't wanna go home cause you're worried about what might happen or what's going to happen," he said.

The D.O.T. plans on monitoring the jam throughout the night. They don't expect it to get worse because the temperatures are dropping.

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