Funding cuts could eliminate area flood gauges

CHENANGO COUNTY – A tool used to give early predictions of flooding may soon be eliminated due to funding cuts for 2009.

Approximately 20 flood gauges in New York State are on the chopping block due to a lack of continued funding from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and other federal sources. The 20 gauges at risk of being eliminated include two in Chenango County and several others in neighboring counties.

“We use the gauges to forecast the river. Without them, we will have difficulty providing accurate warnings,” said Dave Nicosia, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Binghamton.

According to a press release on the USGS web site, the primary reason for discontinuing the gauges is a lack of funding for the operation of the gauges. A. Wesley Jones of the Chenango County Emergency Management Office, explained that the gauges cost approximately $12,000 to $18,000 a year for upkeep and maintenance.

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