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Heavy rain causes area flash flooding, State of Emergency

BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. - Broome County declared a State of Emergency this morning as flash flooding caused creeks and streams in Vestal, Conklin, Kirkwood, and Colesville to leave their banks forcing residents to flee.

Heavy rain this morning caused Choconut Creek in Vestal to overflow, swamping homes, a public park and playground, and the Firemen's Hall along Coleman Street and Grand, Park and Sunset Avenues.

As many as 30 roads and bridges across the county had to be closed due to dangerous flood waters.

And evacuations took place in many areas prone to flash flooding, including 75 to 100 people at the Fountain Blue Trailer Park along Conklin Road in Conklin.

County officials say many residents had to be rescued by boat.

The Red Cross has set up shelters for those who are displaced at the American Legion Post 89 on Jensen Road in Vestal, the Donnelly Elementary School on Conklin Road in Conklin and the Harpursville Baptist Church in Harpursville.

Governor Cuomo visited both Broome County as well as Seneca County Tuesday where there was also damaging flash flooding.

Cuomo says that while New York State is better prepared for natural disasters than ever before, state officials still rely on others to help keep people safe.

"You still need A, that partnership with local officials who know best and are on the ground, and B, citizens to be smart and diligent and to respond before it's too late.  Respond before it's too late," said Cuomo.

Cuomo met with local officials at the state's disaster resource storage facility along North Jensen Road in Vestal.

It stockpiles heavy equipment, generators and other items needed in a large scale emergency.    

Afterward, he toured a flooded portion of Conklin to assess damage.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar issued the State of Emergency this morning, forbidding residents from recreational use of county rivers and streams as well as directing motorists not to drive on flooded roads.

"We need local residents to listen to the emergency responders.  They're the professionals out there.  We are in a very active response mode.  Sometimes minutes or even seconds can be critical when you're talking about life threatening events," said Garnar.

The Susquehanna River in Conklin crested at 16.15 feet this afternoon, a foot over moderate flood stage.

The Susquehanna in Binghamton is forecasted to crest at 13.7 feet this evening, just shy of minor flooding.

The National Weather Service predicts that the river in Vestal will rise to 21 feet this evening, which is the threshold set for moderate flooding.

Flash flooding has also been reported in the Hancock area and other portions of Delaware County as well as various places across the northern tier of Pennsylvania.

Our StormTeam meteorologist will have more on the forecast coming up in weather.


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