Road damage, evacuations
By Jeanne Sager
SULLIVAN COUNTY There was no advance warning.
Even residents of Sullivan County who signed up for the New York Alert system meant to warn them of imminent danger from flooding got the calls after the heavy rains had already started.
What’s being called a 4-inch event hit hard the towns of Callicoon, Delaware and Rockland early Thursday morning.
It started in Delaware and Callicoon along the Callicoon Creek around 1:15 a.m., where Route 52 in the Dewitt Flats area was covered in water and closed down. The area around the Villa Roma in the Beechwoods was closed down as water washed down County Route 164.
Evacuations began in the early morning of homes along the creek, and residents of Kohlertown and home and business owners in the Village of Jeffersonville saw water creeping up out of the creek.
As the rain moved, so did the problems. The hamlet of Livingston Manor was hit next, with an evacuation called for Pearl Street homeowners around 3:15 a.m.
The Manor has stood out as hardest hit through much of Sullivan County’s flooding troubles over the past few years, and this flood was no different.
The Little Beaverkill left 8 inches to a foot of water in businesses along the Main Street, left water in homes along Pearl Street.
Roscoe, hard hit in the past, escaped largely unscathed although precautionary evacuations on Cottage Street were done in light of worries that the water would climb higher than it did.
County Spokeswoman Alexis Eggleton said the good news is there were no reported injuries.
“There is private property damage, but that’s something that can be fixed,” she noted. “Everybody’s OK.”
Engineers from the county were out yesterday assessing road damage, and the morning commute was affected by road closures and lane closures of some roads.
As of mid-morning, three roads were down to one lane including County Routes 128 and 131 in the Hortonville area and 164 in the Beechwoods. Although the pavement of the roads survived the storm, washouts of the embankments left the byways precarious for motorists, and county crews were out making repairs in the early morning hours.
From Monticello south, there were no major rain events reported.
Still, Eggleton said the New York Weather Service was surprised by the ferocity of the storm in Sullivan County they did not provide more significant warning because they were not expecting this sort of event.
The NY Alert System worked as planned, but residents reported calls began well after 2 a.m., nearly an hour after the first major problems were reported.