HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The cleanup continues in Hoosick Falls after the village was devastated by extensive flooding over the weekend.
On Saturday night, water from Woods Brook in Hoosick Falls rushed through homes and devoured roads. Officials needed to evacuate dozens of people.
“I have six tenants who currently have no home, so I have to get a lot of work done,” Jed Donavan said.
That work includes ripping up floors and gutting entire apartments.
“It’s no joke,” he said. “This is worse than the hurricane.”
It may be the worst damage thus far, but it’s not the first time Woods Brook has caused turmoil. It’s been a problem for decades.
“The Army Corps, back in the 1930s, put a large wall there behind the building, and that wall is gone,” Donavan said.
Mayor Rob Allen gave local and state officials a tour of the damage on Monday.
“You want to be able to park in your driveway, but you’re afraid,” Sherri Stevenson, of Hoosick Falls, said.
She’s afraid of a sinkhole that extends down to the culvert while the high waters of Woods Brook lurk nearby.
“It’s a bureaucratic nightmare, as you would imagine,” Allen said. “It involves village property, town property, private property. DEC would be involved; Army Corps of Engineers would be involved.”
Many wondered if the flood water could be contaminated with the toxic chemical PFOA that has already plagued the area.
“I don’t think we have a concern about that right now,” NYS DEC Asst. Commissioner Julie Tighe said. “I mean, that was one of the things we first checked out yesterday to check in on that.”
U.S. Rep. John Faso also brought up talks of a solution in the midst of the cleanup.
“They have to do the damage assessments, and if they cross the threshold, then the state would be able to make an application to the federal government,” he said.
The mayor said the village received a grant last year for an engineering plan for Woods Brook. A public hearing is scheduled for next week on the issue.
In addition, the DEC is assisting homeowners with Point of Entry Treatment Systems, individual filters used by those with private wells to filter out contamination.
At this point, officials said the filters should not be impacted by flooding. However, staff is reaching out to homeowners with installed filters in flooded areas to ensure things are still operating the way they should be.
Anyone with questions or concerns should call the DEC hotline at 1-888-459-8667.