Chenango struggles to save, repair infrastructure

NORWICH – Chenango County’s roads are still closed to traffic today, but according to Public Works Director Randy Gibbon, you wouldn’t know it. “It’s been like Mardi Gras out there,” he said this morning.

Gibbon advised people not to drive until further notice. A decision on whether to lift the state of emergency ban on motorists would be made at 4 p.m. today, he said.

Estimating the cost of damages to Chenango County’s roadways caused by this year’s flooding could take until early next week. A group of emergency management personnel, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Richard B. Decker and Gibbon met late yesterday to evaluate specific roads and bridges.

“There’s no way to tell how bad things are,” Gibbon said. “It will take another full day to evaluate.” Chenango County suffered approximately $700,000 in flood damages in April 2005.

Gibbon said county highway crews would first be concentrating on repairing driveways so people can get in and out of their houses.

Water and sewer infrastructure in the City of Norwich held steady throughout the torrential downpour except for a water main break across the Canasawacta Creek at 2 a.m. on Wednesday. City of Norwich Public Works Superintendent Carl Ivarson said the main was secured by 2:30 a.m. All three of the city’s water districts remained operational throughout the disaster.

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