CHENANGO COUNTY – Four critical flood gauges in Chenango County that were slated to be shut down in October due to sequestration will remain active for at least one more year thanks to newly acquired federal funding.
It was announced last week that 21 key lake and stream gauges across New York State will receive federal funding that keeps them online through 2014, 15 of which will receive long-term funding that keeps them active beyond 2014. Funding is welcome news for emergency preparedness coordinators in areas like Chenango County, where heavy flooding in recent years has left an unmistakable mark.
“We use these gauges every time it rains to monitor the Chenango, Susquehanna and Unadilla rivers in the county,” explained Chenango County Emergency Management Director Matthew Beckwith. “Gauges give us a prediction of what to expect and we can warn people ahead of time if they are in danger.”
Of the 200-plus river gauges in the state, 61 can be found in the Southern Tier, dozens of which are located in the Susquehanna River Basin. Six gauges are currently running in Chenango County and depend on funding from the United States Geological Survey National Streamflow Information Program, not including two additional gauges in Canasawacta Creek in Norwich that are jointly owned and funded by the City of Norwich and the Chenango County Emergency Operations Center.