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Dan Hust | Democrat

THE DELAWARE RIVER at Callicoon rose from about 4 1/2 feet on Tuesday morning to a high of about 10 1/2 feet on Thursday at 1:45 a.m. as the county received two inches of rain.

County escapes another flood

By Frank Rizzo
SULLIVAN COUNTY — March 7, 2008 — The county braced for the worst on Wednesday as expected heavy rains and melting snow led County Manager Dave Fanslau to issue a Flood Warning from noon on Wednesday through Wednesday evening.
In the end, there was only minor flooding on roadways and, according to Public Safety Commissioner Dick Martinkovic, about a dozen homes reported flooded basements.
“We were very close,” Martinkovic said yesterday afternoon. “One of my key advisors was the National Weather Service up in Binghamton and they [kept using the phrase] ‘cautiously optimistic.’”
He added, “They told me that they thought the county could absorb two inches of rain. With two-and-a-half inches we’d have minor flooding, with three inches we’d have major problems.”
According to the graphs Martinkovic received yesterday, between one and two inches of rain fell in the county at various locations, mainly the higher figure.
“The rain stopped just in time, Thank God,” said District 3 Legislator Elwin “Woody” Wood, who took tours of his Roscoe hometown and stayed in touch with other parts of his district. “[The waters] came up right to flood level. Had it continued to rain, we would have gotten in trouble.”
Wood said emergency plans were in place, and the Roscoe-Rockland and Livingston Manor fire services were ready to go.
In his warning statement, Fanslau said, “Sullivan County officials are continuing to monitor the current storm, and have been in contact with the National Weather Service, as well as our local emergency first responders. As of 7 p.m. last night all of Sullivan County was placed under a Flood Watch, which remains in effect through this evening.
The National Weather Service also declared a Flood Warning for the Beaverkill River near Cooks Falls, north of Roscoe. The water level rose over the 10-foot flood stage, and caused minor flooding.
The Neversink Reservoir had water over the top of the spillway most of Wednesday.
The Neversink River at Bridgeville, where moderate flooding occurs at 13 feet and heavy flooding occurs at 17 feet, crested at 11.58 feet between 1-1:15 a.m. Thursday morning.
The Delaware River gauge at Callicoon reached a peak of 10.45 feet at 1:45 a.m. Thursday and had gone back down to 8.61 feet by 12:45 p.m. yesterday. Flooding is at 12 feet.
At Barryville, where the river floods at 17 feet, the gauge registered 14.16 feet between 4:30-5 a.m. on Thursday. It registered 11.57 feet by 1:45 p.m. yesterday.
Sullivan County Emergency Management officials contacted fire departments in the flood-prone areas earlier on Tuesday, and also communicated with the flood-prone towns and villages, to ensure all precautionary measures are being taken, and implementing contingency plans in case of flooding.
County officials also were in contact with these volunteer first-responders throughout the evening, as they monitor the situations in their own communities.

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