Saturday, November 18, 2017


Residents Urged to Clean Storm Sewers in Advance of Rain


ELMIRA – The National Weather Service in Binghamton is predicting a chance of heavy rain today through Friday, with the possibility of urban flooding because of the rain. Urban flooding occurs when areas of poor drainage receive excessive rainfall, or when storm sewers are clogged with debris preventing rainwater to properly drain from streets and yards.



Mark Cicora, Chemung County Director of Fire and Emergency Management said, “This is a good time to remind residents to be aware of the storm sewer grates near their homes. When these structures are clogged with lawn and tree debris, they don’t allow runoff to properly drain, causing standing water in roadways and yards and possibly infiltrating homes. We are urging residents to go out today and clean off those grates nearest their homes so that they will effectively drain the runoff if we get the predicted rain. We also urge all residents to properly dispose of yard wastes such grass clippings, weeds and branches at the County’s compost facility on Blostein Boulevard in Horseheads.”


Cicora would also like to remind residents about flood safety, as flooding is the most common disaster in Chemung County. Everyone should be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas, near water, behind a levee or downstream from a dam. Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood. This is a time for individuals, families, businesses, and communities to understand their risk for flooding and take precautions to protect their families and homes in the event of flooding.



As little as six inches of swift running water is enough to sweep an adult off their feet. Only eighteen inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs. It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited.  It is never safe to drive or walk through floodwaters. Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”.



Residents are urged to monitor local media outlets and be aware of changing weather conditions as they go about their daily business. Useful tools for keeping abreast of severe weather and other hazards include using the Chemung County Emergency Management Mobile App, signing up for NY Alert and purchasing a NOAA Weather Radio.  



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