Cuomo Tours Whitesboro Flooding; Will Consider Lawsuit Against CSX
A low CSX railroad bridge that crosses the Sauquoit Creek in Whitesboro is being blamed for ice jams and flooding that caused concern for nearby homeowners on Thursday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo toured the site Thursday afternoon and paid a visit to the Whitesboro Fire Station soon after where he said the state would consider legal action against CSX to quell the ongoing issue.
Whitesboro Mayor Robert Friedlander said village DPW crews had been working since the early hours on Thursday morning and were still at it Thursday afternoon. Heavy equipment was used to break and remove large chunks of ice that were blocking water from flowing under the bridge. Friedlander says as of late in the afternoon Thursday, he had received no calls from residents near the creek concerning flooded basements.
The area that is the source of the flooding is no stranger to local emergency officials. Plans to build to culvert to help the issue are underway, with one already having been completed, Cuomo said. Construction on a second will begin in February, he added.
However, the culverts will only make the situation better, not resolve it, Cuomo said.
At the press briefing on Thursday afternoon, Former Whitesboro Mayor Patrick O'Connor pressed the Governor for a timeline to more forward with legal action against CSX to construct a new bridge that would allow ice and water to flow underneath.
Cuomo said he would reach out directly to CSX in the next week.