NORWICH – River gauges that monitor the risk of flooding in flood-prone areas across the county may be shut down in March as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pulls back funding to keep them operational through 2013.
The NOAA has identified dozens of river gauges in the Susquehanna River Basin that may not receive money this year – this despite $25 million slated for hurricane forecasting as part of the Sandy Supplemental Bill. Funding cuts would affect a total 18 stream gauges and 16 rain gauges in and around the Susquehanna River Basin, including six in the Chenango, Susquehanna and Unadilla rivers that span Chenango County.
State officials are urging the NOAA to work collaboratively with the Susquehanna River Basin and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to resolve the issue. The Susquehanna River Basin estimates the cost to keep all 34 gauges live for the year would near $215,000 – money well worth spending to preserve potentially life-saving measures, according to county officials.