Picente Calls on Officials to Assist in Addressing Sauquoit Creek Flooding

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr., is seeking assistance in resolving flooding problems that have impacted communities located along the Sauquoit Creek. Picente has sent a letter to U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand, and Congressman Richard Hanna calling for them to work with federal officials and agencies to secure funding that will aid in developing a long-range plan that will address flooding issues once and for all.

“First off, I would like to thank our representatives for the tremendous support we received in the wake of this flooding. The people of Oneida County are grateful for all of the assistance in paying for the cost of the damage, but what we need the most right now is long-term leadership so that steps can be taken to avoid a reoccurrence of this situation in the future. We know it is going to rain again. We need to take pro-active steps so that the many communities along this creek can be assisted now – before the next flood occurs and not afterward,” Picente said.

In the past 3 months alone, significant damage has been done to hundreds of homes and businesses as a result of Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Lee, which has led to millions of dollars in destroyed property and personal belongings. The specific assistance asked for by Picente involves a project that was created to address the basin-wide flow management, and to develop a basin-wide system of retention/detention basins and other similar flow management structures to relieve the frequency and intensity of damaging floods within the Sauquoit Creek watershed. There has never been any funding available to complete this project.

The project will involve multiple phases including taking an inventory of existing sites having the potential to serve as retention/detention basins, the coordination of multiple agencies and municipalities, the research of past reports, studies and data that may be of value, the development and implementation of hydrologic and hydraulic modeling to determine existing flow characteristics and effects of proposed basins and/or projects on the intensity and timing of flows; and the identification of specific locations, sizes, and design criteria for proposed structures.  It is expected to take up to 18 months to complete, and could cost up to $100,000.

Oneida County Executive Picente said, “We need to work on a viable, long-term solution to prevent the damage to homes and businesses that have come as a result of overbank flooding and rising groundwater coming from rain and snow melt.”  Picente went on to say, “By providing us with financial assistance for this project, we can begin the process of addressing and remediating this important water issue.”