Fort Plain remains on high alert with anticipated additional rainfall

FORT PLAIN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As rain is expected to hit the Capital Region Wednesday night, one area prone to flooding remains on high alert.

The length of Montgomery County along the Otsquago Creek has become a problem area for flooding. A recent New York State Department of Environmental Conservation study found changes in the environment such as climate and infrastructure have caused flooding to happen more frequently.

Dale Bridgewater lives on Dairy Street. The Otsquago Creek runs through his back yard.

“The rains keep coming heavier,” he said. “People know – outside of hearing the sirens – once you get to that level, move.”

There’s numbers painted on rocks nearby. When the water reaches the numbers, Bridgewater knows it’s time to evacuate.

Bridgewater has lived in Fort Plain for 11 years. He’s experienced the worst of it, including a flood in 2013 that swept away a mobile home and killed an elderly woman. That storm also damaged his home.

“We didn’t have a leverage of time,” he recalled. “Everything happened within about an hour and 15 minutes, and then two hours after that, the water’s gone.”

On Saturday, Montgomery County Emergency Services Director Jeff Smith said the creek reached its highest levels since 2013 and caused enough erosion to expose a manhole.

“It actually went over the bank into some backyards, but thankfully, didn’t reach any homes,” he said.

Smith said they watch the radar and visit the low lying areas during a storm.

“We try to give the best information we can ahead of time so that people have time to prepare,” Smith explained.

For Bridgewater, being prepared is never a question.

“The fear is there every time we know three days of rain is coming,” he said. “You know, are you going to lose everything? Or are you gonna get a pass this time?”

Officials are monitoring the rain fall on Wednesday night. Smith said it doesn’t appear as if they will get as much as Saturday, so he doesn’t anticipate any evacuations.

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