Local communities on high alert for flooding ahead of Sunday’s heavy rain

FORT PLAIN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – With heavy rain making its way to the Capital Region Sunday, flood-prone areas remain on high alert, preparing for the weather.

 

The water levels in Fort Plain appeared pretty low Saturday. But residents there know all to well just how fast the water can rise when the heavy rain begins.

 

Donald Failing has lived in Fort Plain across from the Otsquago Creek on Abbot Street for 32 years. In 2013, the creek, and his house flooded.

 

“You couldn’t get out at all,” said Failing. “The water was really flowing.”

 

Three feet of water filled the house, causing $30,000 of damage.

 

“We lost everything we owned downstairs,” said Failing. “Everything, and I mean everything.”

 

The same flood swept away a mobile home, killing an elderly woman.

 

Montgomery County hasn’t seen flooding as severe since, but the risk is always there, says Jeff Smith, Montgomery County Emergency Services Director.

 

“We get water from every surrounding county except Schenectady,” said Smith. So it all flows into the Mohawk River, and our creeks and streams and tributaries many times overflow.”

 

With heavy rain in the forecast for Sunday, Smith says the county is preparing for flash flooding once again.

 

the state canal corporation rose gates and dams in the Mohawk River Portion of the Erie Canal in preparation.

 

“It gives more room for the water to rise without going over its banks and causing property damage,” said Smith.

 

Highway superintendents removed leaves and debris from storm drains, and Smith says area schools are ready to act as shelters if home evacuations become necessary, and first responders have been put on alert.

 

But Smith says there’s only so much they can do.

 

“It’s all up to mother nature, depending on how much rain we get and how quickly we get it,” said Smith.

 

Donald Failing is just hoping for the best.

 

“There’s nothing you can do about it, you know,” he said. “Just stay and watch it. What happens, happens.”

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