FALCONER - The early morning thunderstorm and heavy downpour left areas of Falconer and Ellicott flooded today.
According to Cecil Miller III, Ellicott town supervisor, flooding was widespread throughout the town and village. Crews have been up since 2 a.m. and working since to clear debris off of the roads.
David Krieg, Falconer mayor, said they were worried a lot of damage would be on Route 380 because 5 feet of gravel was in the road, but it had washed right off and didn't undermine the roadways.
Roads were closed in Falconer after the severe flooding from the thunderstorm last night.
P-J photo by Mallory Diefenbach
There was also some flooding on Elmwood and Kane avenues. Three homes on Lindsey Avenue had to be evacuated, and Allen Street had been flooded.
Miller said the road which received the worst damage was Horton Road, which has a history of trouble with this kind of rain. The rain had come off the road at such a rate that the infrastructure couldn't handle it and the water went up and over the road, flooding a house at the bottom of the hill.
"With that amount of rain in that short amount of time, there isn't much you can do about it," Miller said.
"The weather service says the water may climb for about three or four more hours," Krieg said. Currently the Chadakoin River is at flood level, but the rate has stopped for the time being. " ... If it continues, we'll be in trouble again."
All town-maintained roads are now open, however, county-maintained roads are still closed off for the time being. Route 380 is currently closed, but according to Miller, crews have been working on the road for a while and it may open up soon.
Falconer Central Schools decided to close after an emergency management meeting at 7 a.m. based on the forecast of possible precipitation. According to Stephen Penhollow, Falconer Central superintendent, a major concern was that with additional rain, the Chadakoin River would overflow. Minimum flooding has taken place in the middle-high school and Paul BD Temple Elementary School, however, Harvey C. Fenner Elementary School has taken on a lot of water, which the school is still working to remove.
"I think the good thing is being able to communicate openly with our village, with our county agencies, our police departments," Penhollow said. "Everyone was very active and helping to assist not only the school, but the school is providing buses and shelter locations. I think it is a great example that communities are designed to work together."
No injuries have been reported, but Falconer Central School gymnasium has been transformed into an emergency evacuation center by the Red Cross. It is advised if a resident's basement floods, they should should shut off their gas before the water reaches their furnace. If they don't know how to do that, they can call the fire department for help.