Cleanup and recovery efforts underway after flash flooding in Seneca County
Cleanup and recovery efforts are underway after severe flooding hit the Finger Lakes Region on Tuesday.
Seneca County Fire Coordinator Jeff Case said one of their main objectives on Wednesday is safety and to get the roads open.
"Our main objective is to get roads open, back to the community," Case said.
According to officials, over 60 people were evacuated by boat in the Lodi area on Tuesday. Officials said most of the rescues came from Lodi Point State Park and the immediate vicinity — including those from a trailer park and camps, as well as some permanent residents.
Crews say cleanup could take months but are hoping to have a majority of the roads opened by the end of the day Wednesday or Thursday morning.
A state of emergency was declared Tuesday until Aug. 21 after heavy storms caused flash flooding in parts of Central New York.
Case said the Air National Guard is heading up the debris removal including removing trees out of the road and away from the houses in the area.
There were only minor injuries from residents, and no rescuers were injured.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that more teams specializing in disaster recovery and cleanup were deployed to the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier regions. Cuomo also said the Department of Financial Services also deployed a command center to assist residents with the insurance claims process.
The state Department of Transportation will also be evaluating roads, bridges and other infrastructure for damage and safety concerns.
"With more rain expected this weekend, I am urging residents to be cautious at home and when traveling while roads and other infrastructure remain saturated and vulnerable," Governor Cuomo said. "We are capitalizing on this break in weather to mobilize recovery and clean-up personnel quickly in order to assess the storm's impacts, and state agencies will continue to work with local officials to clear debris and assist in recovery efforts until the job is done."
Officials are warning boaters to avoid the area, as crews are working to clear debris. Also, officials ask people to stay away from the area unless they have a reason to be there, as there could still be some hazards in the area.
In an update on Wednesday afternoon, officials said only 20% of the debris in Seneca Lake has been removed, and larger equipment is being brought in to finish the job.
Officials also said multiple agencies are in the area helping with the cleanup and they do not plan on leaving until the work is done.