WHITESBORO, N.Y. – Residents along the Sauquoit Creek in Whitesboro have been evacuated for the second time since Friday due to flooding in the area.
The first evacuation happened Friday morning, and the second order was issued Monday morning around 6:30 a.m. following heavy rain. American Red Cross volunteers are assisting with the evacuations.
Main Street between Yorkville and Victory Parkway was closed Monday morning but has since reopened.
Crews have also been removing trees and debris from the creek since Friday, including under the Route 69 bridge. Whitesboro Mayor Bob Friedlander says this helps prevent bridge damage.
“There is a concern on my part that there are other areas in the creek where there are trees that are fallen and they are laying in the creek now and need to be removed, otherwise if we have another high-water event, they are going to float up, come down and slam into these bridges,” he said.
Oneida East residency crews removing trees and debris from Thursday storm under the Route 69 bridge in the village of Whitesboro. #DontDriveDistracted through work zones ����������♂️. pic.twitter.com/kj9BWZR32f
— NYSDOT Mohawk Valley (@NYSDOTUtica) July 11, 2021
Residents in certain areas of Whitesboro were eligible for a federal buyout program following the 2019 Halloween floods, but Friedlander says the root of the issue still needs to be addressed.
“If you move the people and don't prevent the flooding, it is going to continue to happen,” said Friedlander. “Now, whether they do this buyout, all the people get moved. We don't know. I don't have a crystal ball. I don't know to what extent it’ll happen. But if there is one resident left down there, they’re going to live in fear of this creek rising and flooding."
A few showers are expected Monday afternoon, and scattered thunderstorms will return Tuesday in Oneida County.