New York Gov. George Pataki has declared a State Disaster Emergency for Washington County and contiguous areas that suffered damages in the flooding following the failure of a dam at Hadlock Pond in the Town of Fort Ann recently.
“Personnel from numerous State agencies have worked throughout the night and today assisting county and local officials in rescue and recovery operations,” Gov. Pataki said.
“We are very fortunate and extremely thankful that there are no reports of any fatalities or injuries from this catastrophic event,” the Governor said. “I have ordered State agencies to continue to provide any and all assistance to the local governments in the county.”
In announcing the declaration, the Governor directed the implementation of the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and authorized the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) to coordinate the appropriate State agencies in assisting local governments in taking appropriate action to protect property and to assist those affected local governments and individuals in responding to and recovering from these storms.
“The flooding caused by the dam’s failure resulted in personal hardships, damage to residential and commercial properties and the agricultural community as well as disrupting the vital public transportation grid,” the Governor said. “While damage assessments are ongoing in the severely impacted areas, the State will seek federal emergency assistance.”
Shortly after the State was notified of the failure and flooding, SEMO activated and dispatched a multi-agency Incident Management Assistance Team to support local operations.
The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control activated the Urban Technical Search and Rescue Team, which worked with local fire departments and the town building inspectors to survey all damaged structures, conduct searches and check on residents who sheltered in place.
The surge of water resulted in damage to a 16-inch water main in the town. SEMO dispatched two 5,500-gallon water tankers from the State’s Emergency Equipment Stockpile to provide potable water to residents in the affected area. The Department of Health is providing technical assistance with experts from its Bureau of Public Water.
With State Route 149 and several other local roads closed because of damage from the flooding, Department of Transportation personnel have been on scene assessing the situation with an emergency contractor.
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