Battle to maintain federal funding, keep stream and river gauges active continues

CHENANGO COUNTY – The battle to maintain federal funding to keep stream and river gauges active is one Chenango County emergency officials fight during budget season year after year.

But recent flooding is putting state and local legislatures in a position to fight that battle a little earlier this year and to call for continuous funding to preserve stream gauges across the state before the threat to shut them off becomes a reality.

United States Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Wednesday highlighted the importance for federal funding to keep New York’s stream gauges active. Those gauges, he said, help predict when rivers will crest, how much water can be expected to spill into flood prone areas, and provide data that can help emergency crews manage the disaster.

“In the aftermath of the severe rainfall and flash flooding in upstate New York last week, we must first focus on recovery and rebuilding, but also look to prevent future instances of what has been repeated and increased flooding,” he said in a conference call with reporters. “We have learned from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, Superstorm Sandy, and the recent flooding in upstate New York that we can not shortchange programs that our communities rely on to keep their citizens safe and well-informed, and help first responders plan flood responses.”

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