Crews breaking up ice jams to prevent Sauquoit Creek flooding

Local and state officials have set up an emergency response center to monitor creeks.

Posted: Feb 4, 2019 10:55 AM
Updated: Feb 4, 2019 11:11 PM

WHITESBORO, N.Y. -- A big swing in temperature from last week to this week, the high Monday reaching 57 degrees. And with that comes ice jams and the potential for flooding.

Local and state officials have set up an emergency response center to monitor creeks.

As of Monday night, officials with the state felt it was necessary to bring in a fourth piece of heavy machinery as a precaution in case crews needed it.

The Mayor for the Village of Whitesboro, Bob Friedlander said the addition will be helpful. "The more and more ice that builds down it's going to connect into the CSX bridge and at that point if you can't get it out, it's not going anywhere and it causes the water to go over its banks and flood our residents."

The New York State Department of transportation said rain is a concern. "The next few days it does show rain, I'm not sure exactly how much," said Jimmy Piccola with the New York State Department of Transportation. "Temperatures are going to be milder than they have been in the past week or two, so again we just need to wait it out and react to things as they come."

Piccola said they're hoping the water slows down and they can keep it flowing towards the Mohawk River and prevent an ice jam from happening under the CSX Bridge.

The Governor has deployed additional equipment just in case crews need some extra help. This includes:

• 2 Long Stick Excavators
• 2 Dump Trucks
• 1 New York State Police Command Vehicle
• 1 Swift Water Rescue Team
• 2 Inflatable Motor Boats
• 2 Non-Motorized Rafts
• 1 High Axle Vehicle
• 3 Portable Lighting Units
• 2 100kw Generators
• 2 VMS Boards
• 1 Emergency Response Trailer

State DOT, DPW, Whitesboro, and Oneida County all have crews at the CSX tracks helping out.

There's also a sewer project happening on the other side of the tracks they're trying to keep water from getting into.

Crews said they'll likely work until Tuesday morning.

Route 5 in Kirkland, and Route 28 in Newport are two areas the New York State Department of Transportation are also keeping an eye on.

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