State of emergency declared in Chenango, flooding of '06 proportions predicted

UPDATED AT 2:03 A.M. THURSDAY

CHENANGO COUNTY – A state of emergency has been declared for Chenango County. Pursuant to the order, issued by Chairman Richard Decker of the Chenango Board of Supervisors, all roads in the county were closed as of 7 p.m. Officials warn the order will be strictly enforced. The situation will be re-evaluated at 7 a.m. Thursday.

According to Emergency Management Officer Matthew Beckwith, almost 3 inches of rain has already fallen over parts of Chenango County, with some areas receiving as many as 4 to 5 inches.

The southern and eastern portions of the county the hardest hit, with significant flash flooding reported in Afton, Bainbridge, Coventry, Greene, Guilford and Oxford. States of Emergency have been declared in both the town and village of Greene, as well as the Town of Coventry.

The flooding prompted a number of area school districts to dismiss students early. Others canceled after school activities.

As of 9:18 p.m., 1,208 NYSEG customers were without power in Chenango.

Beckwith and other officials spent much of the afternoon at the county’s Emergency Operation Center, which was activated to monitor the situation.

With another 2 1/2 to 5 inches of rain expected in the next 6 to 8 hours, conditions are expected to worsen. Some areas could see as much as 9 or 10 inches in total before the storm passes tomorrow morning, he reported.



At present flash flooding remains the greatest concern, but emergency management officials are closely monitoring flood gauges on the Chenango, Susquehanna and Otselic Rivers and Canasawacta Creek.

“The problem is the rivers will continue to rise,” Beckwith said, even after the rain stops. “Right now the river predictions are near that of ‘06.”

• As of 12:30 a.m. Thursday, the Susquehanna River at Bainbridge was already in flood stage at 20.69 feet. It is expected to crest at approximately 7 p.m. tomorrow at 24.6 feet. (In 2006, it reached 27 feet.)

• As of 12:30 a.m. Thursday, the Chenango River at Sherburne was at 9.68 feet, above its flood stage of 8.5 feet. It is expected to crest at 10.8 feet at 8 a.m. Thursday. (In 2006, it reached 11.4 feet.)

• As of 1 a.m. Thursday, the Chenango River at Greene was above flood stage at 18.65 feet. It is expected to crest at 2 p.m. tomorrow at 20.4 feet. (In 2006, it reached 22 feet.)

• As of 1 a.m. Thursday, the Otselic River at Cincinnatus was at 8.46 feet, still below its flood stage of 9 feet. It is expected to crest at 11.4 feet at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

• As of 1:25 a.m. Thursday, the Chenango River at Norwich was at 9.59 feet, above its flood stage of 9 feet. According to Beckwith, there is not enough historical data to predict when the stream will crest or at what height.

• As of 1:25 a.m. Thursday, Canasawacta Creek was at 22.68 feet, over its flood stage of 20 feet. Beckwith said there is not enough historical data to predict when the stream will crest or at what height.

According to Beckwith, emergency management officials are currently working with the American Red Cross to establish shelters in various locations around the county. Details about these shelters will be reported as they become available.

Prior to the road closure, a number of area roadways had already been closed due to flood waters. Those roads include:

Town of Afton

• Melody Hill Rd. from Garlick and Hunt Road

• State Rte 41 at Morgan Hill Rd.

• Stumptown Rd

• Cty Rd. 17 at State Rte 41

• State Rte 7 at Cty Rd. 38

Town of Bainbridge

• Cooper School House Rd. at Cty Rd. 38

• State Rte. 206 at Cemetery Rd. and Cty Rd. 17

Village of Bainbridge

• Tyler St.

Town of Coventry

• Owlville Rd.

• Travel advisory on all roads, per state of emergency declaration.

Town of Greene

• 596 Cty Rd. 32 and South to Broome County Line

• Cty Rd. 2

• State Rte. 206 from Stein Rd. to Cty Rd. 2

• State Rte 12 South of Greene at Baron’s Inn

Village of Greene

• State Rte 12 at South Chenango St.

Town of Guilford

• Ives Settlement from Parker-Smith Hill Rd. to Cty Rd. 35

Town of Norwich

• Mary Windsor Rd. on White Store Rd. End

Town of Oxford

• Puckerville Rd.

• Moran Rd.

• Brooksbank Rd. at Cousins Rd.- Bridge under water

Town of Plymouth

• Cumber Rd.

Town of Preston

• Turner St. from State Rte. 12 to ? mile.

Town of Smithville

• Robbins Rd.

Town of Unadilla

• River Rd. from Cty Rd. 3 to Unadilla Town Line

Drivers are encouraged to use caution, and reminded never to drive through standing water on any roadway. For an updated list of road closures, visit www.chenangofireems.com.

Several area school districts have already notified parents of their intention to close, including Oxford, Norwich and Sherburne-Earlville.

More information will be published as it becomes available.

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