Senator calls for more stream gauges in flood-prone areas

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ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Charles Schumer is calling for a more than $7 million increase in funding for stream gauges, devices that give people in flood-prone areas much-needed notice that waters nearby are rising.

In light of repeated hurricanes and severe flooding, Senator Schumer is pushing for maximum funding of New York's stream gauges. Money for stream gauges was requested in President Obama's budget and would bring some of the 300 newly-requested stream gauges to flood-prone areas such as the Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier.

Stream gauges are devices that predict when floodwaters will crest and can allow time to plan evacuations and flood responses in advance.

Schumer says stream gauges are chronically underfunded in the state, which leaves many of these life and property saving devices at risk of being shut off each year.

They're put upstream, and they can give communities warning,” Schumer told the NEWS CENTER on Thursday. “It goes immediately online when rivers, creeks rise and you'll know hours, sometimes days ahead of time that they'll be flooding, which allowed people a chance to evacuate and allows people to remove their most valued possessions to higher ground.”

They have not been funded by the federal government and Schumer says there simply are not enough of them. He plans to make a big push in the upcoming Appropriations Bill.

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