State of emergency declared after mudslide in Schenectady, 21 displaced

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A state of emergency was declared for the city of Schenectady following the Sunday morning mudslide.

The following information was provided by the mayor’s office:

Due to the executive order, State of Emergency issued by Mayor Gary McCarthy, the following road closure will occur immediately and remain in effect until rescinded: Nott Terrace will be closed from Chapel Street to State Street in both directions. Employees who utilize the parking garage on Chapel Street will be granted access.Signs for local detours will be posted. Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area as much as possible due to heavy traffic flow.”

This order was provided for safety in the area, but a home continues to hang over the edge of the hill above the location of the mudslide. It is threatening the houses below it, but by Monday morning the threat will be gone when it’s knocked down.

“A real bad luck day for me, that’s for sure,” said Rodney Smith, who lives on Nott Terrace.

Everything happened to Rodney at once.

“Turned out that she had massive cancer throughout her whole body and she passed away this morning and I came home to this,” Smith said.

Having just lost the love of his life, he found his house damaged by a mudslide and learned he missed it by minutes.

“Thank god we were able to get her to the hospital before it turned into a total ruckus,” Smith said.

The beginnings of the mudslide started around 1:15 a.m. on Sunday, as mud rolled down the hill behind Smith’s home on Nott Terrace; collapsing the back of it and trapping three people.

Two of them suffered minor injuries and a young man in his twenties suffered serious injuries. But, Schenectady Fire Department Chief, Ray Senecal says the man remains in stable condition.

“We used the jaws of life, we used airbags and heavy equipment to get him out of the situation,” Senecal said.

As a result of the destruction, 21 people are displaced and getting help from the American Red Cross, as this home on Barney Street hangs over edge of the hill.

“We’re confident that it’s not going anywhere,” Senecal said, regarding the home.

To prevent any future disaster, building inspector Chris Lunn says they’re going to demolish that house along with the home next to it, both of which are vacant and a garage.

But, they haven’t made a decision on Smith’s home or the others below.

“We can’t get into the houses to make a proper assessment of their condition,” Senecal said.

Smith hopes he’ll be able to stay, because he doesn’t think he can take any more bad news.

“Maybe there’s a shining light somewhere at the end of it. I don’t know,” Smith said.

The cause remains under investigation, but the building inspector said he believes the design and weather played factors.

Mayor McCarthy’s state of emergency goes into effect at 9:45 a.m. on Monday.

Click for official letter from Mayor McCarthy: State of Emergency

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