Poolville couple's home rescued from ice jam

Water floods the Stolars' lawn on Sunday / photo: Stolar family


A Poolville couple are breathing easier after a work crew removed an ice dam that was flooding their property.

Franz Stolar tells CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that a crew from the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District showed up at his home Wednesday morning. Using a excavator, workers broke up an ice dam on the Sangerfield River "within just 10 minutes" Stolar said. Stolar says he's especially grateful to Burt Glazer who heads the Town of Hamilton Highway Department for contacting the Soil and Water Conservation District on his behalf.

Mike Johnston says one of the duties of the Soil and Water Conservation District is to keep streams clear of debris, but "a lot of people aren't aware."

Stolar says within minutes, the flood water that was creeping toward his home receded.

On Monday, Stolar complained to CNY Central that no one would respond to his predicament.


A Poolville family is in a jam, literally, as flood water threatens their home and property.

Franz Stolar says an ice jam has formed on the Sangerfield River behind his home, but he can TMt get any help. Stolar says the jam is the result of ice flows getting stuck on debris in the river, from recent logging. He says he has called numerous officials from the Madison County and Hamilton public works departments, but has been told there TMs nothing they can do.

Madison County Highway Superintendent Joe Wisinski tells CNY Central TMs Jim Kenyon We have no jurisdiction. Wisinski says under state law damage from ice jams is on the property owner.

He says unless the flooding affects county roads or rights-of-way, DPW crews cannot intervene.

Wisinski says he would like to help the Stolar family, but even if he could, Madison County does not have the kind of equipment that would be necessary.

Late Monday afternoon, CNY Central received word from the Syracuse office of the DEC that it is in touch with Madison County and the Town of Hamilton to see what could be done about the ice jam.

Making matters worse for Stolar is the fact that he canceled his flood insurance because the bank handling his home financing said he didn't need it. Stolar showed Kenyon a copy of a letter in which the bank determined the home is not in a flood hazard zone, even though it's only 100 feet from the banks of the Sangerfield River.