An emergency declaration to authorize immediate work in areas affected by last week’s heavy rain has been made, including in St. Lawrence County.
The county is among 23 New York counties impacted by heavy rains and flooding due to severe storms this past week, and was part of the area in a state of emergency declared by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week.
While no serious flooding or damage were reported in St. Lawrence County, areas to our south in Herkimer and Oneida counties were severely impacted. Guidelines on how work can be conducted to protect infrastructure and the environment is viewalble on on DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/89343.html.
The declaration allows DEC to authorize emergency projects and issue general permits to allow emergency repairs to homes, property and structures, and public infrastructure, including debris removal and stream, road and bridge stabilization projects.
In addition, in cases where the damage has created an emergency situation that could threaten public health or safety, state or local agencies, including municipalities, can begin work immediately, prior to approval of a general permit by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Authorities advise that DEC should be notified prior to work beginning, but if that is not possible, notification should be made within 24 hours.
Landowners should contact the DEC regional offices for assistance in receiving a general permit.
In addition to St. Lawrence County, the affected counties are Broome, Chenango, Clinton, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Tioga, Schoharie, Niagara and Warren Counties, and potentially Ulster, Sullivan, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties, according to the governor’s office.
“This Emergency Declaration will allow state and local officials as well as private landowners to take quick action to prevent further damage and stabilize existing structures and infrastructure,” Cuomo said.
Specific questions can be answered by speaking with a DEC representative at the Region 6 office in Watertown at 785-2247.