Flash Floods Force Evacuations in East-Central New York
Flooding fueled by heavy rains has driven hundreds of residents of east-central New York State from their homes in several counties, including Oneida, Chenango, Madison and Herkimer.
Many downtown Oneida streets were inundated on Friday June 28 after the levy along Oneida Creek overflowed, the Oneida Dispatch reported. The water was expected to crest in the early afternoon, said Dave Nicosia of the National Weather Service, speaking to the Dispatch. Oneida creek was at “record levels,” he said, up at 16.7 feet, which surpassed the previous record of 15.6 in September 2011.
The Oneida Animal Hospital had to be evacuated as well, and numerous residents were moved to a shelter set up by the Red Cross at the city’s armory. In addition severe rainstorms and flooding led the town of Kirkland to declare a state of emergency, the Dispatch reported.
The National Weather Service also warned resident in vulnerable areas along streams and creeks to expect flooding and poor drainage conditions, according to Syracuse.com.
"I haven't seen it this bad since the 1950s," said 71-year-old Joe Salerno to the Dispatch as he watched Oneida Creek overtake his back yard and flow into the cellar of his childhood home, where his son now lives.
Extensive flooding was also reported in Utica, with states of emergency declared in Ilion and Whitesboro too, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reported. The floodwaters left almost as much havoc receding as they did advancing, the newspaper reported, filling parking lots with mud and debris, and trashing traffic lights, as well as closing numerous roads.
Crews were working on Friday afternoon to set everything to rights. Photos and videos are being posted on a new Facebook page, CNY Flooding Photos June 2013. A gripping video of the ferocity of the waters is here.