Village of Herkimer residents may have experienced some traffic delays on the way to work this morning. Route 28 between the Herkimer Thruway entrance and 5th Avenue was closed for a flood control a...
Village of Herkimer residents may have experienced some traffic delays on the way to work this morning. Route 28 between the Herkimer Thruway entrance and 5th Avenue was closed for a flood control exercise.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and Herkimer officials conducted a training exercise to erect a flood wall located under the thruway bridge and then tear it down. DEC officials say it's especially important to perform flood control exercises in areas prone to flooding.
"This flood wall that's underneath the thruway bridge here is very important if the Mohawk River and Barge Canal comes up and overtops the flood capacity of the village, it will hold the flood waters out," says Stephen Litwhiler, NYSDEC Citizen Participation Specialist.
DEC says this exercise is part of an ongoing effort to provide village officials with hands-on training, should an emergency flood develop.
Even more thunderstorms are sweeping through Central New York. Almost 700 people were without power in Oneida and Madison Counties last night, others suffered flood damage, and more rain is heading our way.
"There was a car completely submerged under water in front of our house, right here in front of our house," says Shirley Lamphere, West Utica resident.
Lamphere lives on Lincoln Avenue in West Utica. She says she's never seen flooding like this.
"We were carrying our kids through the water. It was up to our chests. It was completely flooded in our house, up to our steps and the whole basement is completely flooded out," says Lamphere.
Several streets in West Utica and some streets in North Utica suffered flood damage. Area officials say they were responding to numerous calls to clean debris and close roads.
"You couldn't really pass through here. It was really, really flooded," says Laura Harris, West Utica resident.
Harris says there was nearly 5 feet of water almost touching her front door.
"I was really scared so as I was looking at my front door window, the water was coming up high," says Harris.
Living on the first floor, she wanted to get to higher ground so she stayed with a neighbor until the rain passed.
And now there are signs of another big storm. But Utica Department of Public Works (DPW) says you can prepare.
"Any green waste that you have in the street, get it out of the street, put it on the lawn for now. That interferes with the flow of water into the catch basin especially with heavy rains and that's what picks up the debris and puts it on the catch basins which then in return, floods the area," says Dave Short, Utica DPW commissioner.
And the commissioner says the DPW is preparing also.
"We are monitoring our creeks and ravines again and we're letting everyone just get ready for the inevitable. We know the rain's coming, its just a matter of how hard its gonna come down," says Short.
We've learned that disaster can strike anywhere and anytime. Officials are again urging residents to keep an emergency starter kit, water, and flashlights on-hand.