Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Hector Falls Thaw Causes Flooding
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
BURDETT (WENY) -- Wait and watch, that's what neighbors living at the base of Hector Falls have been doing all Winter.
"This winter has been so cold that ice has built up in this flume area below the falls and at this time, as it's melting," said Bill Kennedy, Schuyler Counter Emergency Management Coordinator.
Eileen Graboski lives at the base of the falls. She says there's usually a 15 foot sea-well, but it's completely filled with ice this Winter. Now, with warmer temperatures, that water is making it's way into neighbors homes. Ice jams are blocking it from draining into Seneca Lake.
Fire crews and Emergency Management were on scene giving neighbors sandbags to try and hold some of the water off.
"Six weeks ago we asked them about using explosives to break up the ice," said Graboski. "And we asked if they had any kind of a barge that can come in from the other side. And if there was anything they can do. They told us just if it breaks loose to call and they would sandbag, but it happens really fast."
Eileen Graboski lives next door to the home on North Falls Road that is suffering the most flood damage. Her garage is flooded. Her neighbors are out of town, so she's trying to help out as best as she can. An excavator arrived later on in the day to dig a path for the water.
"We knew it was ok for yesterday, but with the weather getting warmer today it's just going to overflow," said Graboski.
She says she hasn't seen something like this in all the years she's lived by Seneca Lake.