WHITESBORO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) Historically flood-prone areas in Oneida County are cleaning up after being hit hard by an overnight storm.
The town of Whitestown and village of Whitesboro were hit especially hard, and not for the first time. It’s a trouble spot that floods so often, the state put up millions of dollars to stop some of the water.
The state stepped in about a year and a half ago to help with the Sauquoit Creek Channel and Floodplain Restoration Project.
Town of Whitestown Supervisor Shaun Kaleta told NewsChannel 9’s Nicole Sommavilla it’s working.
Despite the fact there’s a lot of flooding and cleanup, Kaleta said it could have been much worse. “The water rose quickly,” he said.
That water forced entire neighborhoods to evacuate. Overnight, 24 people had to be rescued while firefighters tried to pump water from their homes.
“We carried people out in waist-deep water,” said Utica Fire Chief Scott Ingersoll.
For some people, this is not the first time. The same community was hit last year and the year before.
Kaleta knows it needs to end, and he believes the first part of the state-sponsored project prevented even more homes from taking a hit.
“Definitely made a difference and continues to make a difference,” said Kaleta.
“It actually worked, the water benches in the creek actually did modify and moderate the water,” said RoAnn Destito the Commissioner of the NYS Office of General Services.
Kaleta said this is the hardest this area’s been hit, but the benches and culverts put in are redirecting a significant amount of water. He wants his neighbors to know, neither the state nor the town are giving up.
“We’re doing everything we can to improve conditions,” said Kaleta.
Kaleta said phase two of the project still has to go up for a bid, but he’s hopeful it will begin in the early part of next year.
For more local news follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter/NeSommavilla.