January 26, 2010


Flooding closes roads, swells creeks

Melting snow, rainfall bring midwinter melt to county


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Smith Brook roars along East Academy Street in McGraw Monday morning following heavy rain and snow melt.

Staff Reporter

Two county roads were closed this morning and minor erosion damage affected some county roads, due to flooding caused by rain and melting snow.
East River Road near its intersection with Chenango Road in Truxton was closed, as was Kellogg Road in between the two sets of railroad tracks that cross the road, said Cortland County Highway Superintendent Don Chambers.
Other areas of flooding include the Daisy Hollow and West Meeting House Road intersection in Virgil, where Virgil Creek spilled over its banks.
Chambers said the flow of water on the two roads is not very strong and that he does not anticipate significant damage.
The Cortland County Sheriff’s Department sent out an e-mail reminding people to stay away from river banks.
“Due to the warm weather and rain, water levels have been on the rise and will continue for the next couple days,” the e-mail states.
The Sheriff’s Department also warned people not to attempt to drive past any barricades placed by local highway departments to close roads.
“It only takes a couple of inches of water to sweep your vehicle downstream. The river is not expected to crest until tomorrow,” the e-mail states.
Erosion affected the shoulders of a few county roads, including Mayberry Road in Truxton and Glen Haven Road in Scott, Chambers said.
He said the damage can be fixed in a couple of days at the cost of a few thousand dollars.
Damage from annual floods is an annual expense accounted for in the budget, he said.
The Tioughnioga River had risen to 9 feet at Cortland at 9 a.m. today, above the 8-foot flood stage, according to the National Weather Service. The river began rising late Sunday night as warm temperatures melted snow and rain fell. After leveling off overnight Monday, the river began to rise again early this morning.
“Everything seems to be OK,” Brenda DeRusso, county assistant Fire Emergency Management coordinator, said this morning. “We’re above flood stage for the river. But we should start to see it drop off this afternoon.”
DeRusso said there were also reports of some scattered flooded basements from melting snow and rain that could not seep below the frost line and entered homes.
Temperatures Monday hovered around 50 degrees from 4 a.m. to 3 p.m. About a half inch of rain fell in the city Sunday and Monday.
The National Weather Service is forecasting snow, with high temperatures close to 30 degrees and low temperatures in the lower 20s today and Wednesday.


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