Experts from the Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services on Scene Assisting Local Officials
Governor Cuomo today announced that officials from the State Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services have been dispatched to assist the Village of Whitesboro in Oneida County as the Sauquoit Creek swept over its banks due to ice jams that have built up over last evening and are impacting a CSX rail bridge. State officials are on scene and coordinating with local officials as they continue with response and mitigation efforts.
"Extreme weather, fluctuating from freezing to abnormally warm temperatures, has caused ice jams which could impact surrounding homes and businesses," Governor Cuomo said. "The state is monitoring the situation and we are in close contact with local officials as we continue to assist the village with assets and personnel to mitigate against the flooding."
Currently the state routes in and around Whitesboro have not been impacted by flooding. Ice jams and debris, however, have impacted the CSX-owned bridge in Whitesboro resulting in localized roadway and residential flooding. The Department of Transportation is working cooperatively with CSX and other state and local partners to mitigate impacts and clear the ice and debris. When the situation stabilizes, DOT will work with CSX and DEC on potential preventive measures to mitigate potential future flooding in the area. Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito are also on site coordinating with local officials. Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Office of Emergency Management has deployed regional staff to respond with additional assets as needed.
Recently Governor Cuomo announced $2.5 million to increase the resiliency of the Sauquoit Creek through the construction of an innovative floodplain 'bench' that will store and slow floodwaters and protect downstream communities. In addition, the Governor announced new coordinated state actions to help Mohawk River Basin communities hard hit by recent floods that will include $250,000 in new funding.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger L. Parrino, Sr. said, "The Division is ready to assist in Oneida County and across the state to help alleviate the impacts from seasonal flooding. We continue to coordinate our efforts with state and local partners as temperatures drop and rain transitions to snow and ice throughout the state. I urge residents to stay tuned to local forecasts and prepare for inclement weather."
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Governor Cuomo is prioritizing bolstering the resiliency of our communities to help meet the challenges of our changing climate, protect the economic vitality of our communities, and keep New Yorkers safe. As climate change fuels more intense and frequent storms that threaten communities and infrastructure across the state, DEC experts are on the front lines every day assisting local governments to plan for and advance important flood resiliency projects. Today's flood conditions underscore the importance of comprehensive preparedness plans with built-in resiliency measures to ensure our residents are safe and our communities are ready to withstand extreme weather events."
Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, "As weather takes its toll on New York State communities whether it be from flooding, snow, hurricanes and more, Governor Cuomo has always made assistance to localities a priority. Working in conjunction with CSX to put preventive measures in place to remedy the situation and once the recently announced floodplain bench is constructed, communities downstream from the Sauquoit Creek will be far better protected when extreme weather hits."