Updated 01/31/2013 10:59 PM
Water receding in Sylvan Beach
It was a hectic afternoon for neighbors and emergency personnel in Sylvan Beach. An ice jam caused one neighborhood to flood there. A number of people had to leave their homes to escape the rising waters. Our Iris St. Meran was there and tells us how crews were able to get people to safety.
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SYLVAN BEACH, N.Y. -- This Sylvan Beach neighborhood has flooded before. Mary Cooper has lived here for more than 25 years and remembers well. But she says there was much more water this time.
Cooper said, "It's higher than it was the last time. The last time it only came up to my fence in the back yard. Now the whole fence and my garbage cans are out there floating."
This was all caused by an ice jam. Wednesday's warm temperatures allowed snow to melt. That runoff created an ice jam where the Fish Creek meets the Barge Canal. Neighbors and emergency crews then dealt with rapid rising water on streets and in homes.
Sylvan Beach Second Assistant Fire Chief Rick Johnson said, "Some we know are six, seven, eight feet under water. And some haven't been touched yet."
As a precaution, power was shut off and at one point in the day, more than two dozen people and their animals had to be evacuated from their homes and stay with loved ones or at the municipal building. The fire department, with the help of other agencies, had to use various resources to get people to safety.
"Right now, we have a pickup truck we're using. We're taking boats right now. We have four boats down there. The boat behind us will be the fifth. That's just our backup boat in case something happens," Johnson said.
Luckily nothing else did. Power was eventually restored. The ice on the canal was broken up so the water could flow. In the flooded areas, water levels receded and now residents are home, but their work isn't done just yet because they have to clean it all up.
For people who are still traveling in that area, officials are urging caution because many parts of the area will be slippery.