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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Canajoharie, NY ,

Joshua Thomas
The Village of Canajoharie DPW headquarters was flooded with three inches of water, mud and debris. Shown here is their flooded break room.

Joshua Thomas
Canajoharie Police Chief Bryan MacFadden said this fuel tank was carried downstream to its eventual resting place near the end of Old Sharon Road, on Route 10, in the town of Canajoharie.

Joshua Thomas - At 7:25 a.m. Friday, a Canajoharie DPW crew clears a fallen tree from Old Sharon Road while Canajoharie Police Chief Bryan MacFadden directs traffic.

Joshua Thomas
The road where Moyer and Montgomery streets intersect in the village of Canajoharie was undermined, causing holes to open in the pavement.


Storm cleanup continues in Canajoharie and Palatine Bridge

Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Updated: 9:35 AM


C-S-E Editor

The village and town of Canajoharie were hit hard during the four hour storm that struck last Thursday evening and carried over into the early morning hours Friday. The town of Palatine and village of Palatine Bridge also sustained damage. Local and county crews have been working ever since to clean up the mess.

Town roads were flooded in Canajoharie, causing numerous closures, and crews are "still assessing damage to shoulders, culverts and pavement," Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeffery Smith said Tuesday afternoon, adding, "Highway crews will be out working for a long time. This is going to take a while."

Numerous homes sustained damage, including 44 in Canajoharie and Palatine (which required pumping by the Canajoharie Fire Department) and 12-15 in Ames. Smith said that 70-75 homes were affected in the towns and villages of Canajoharie, Palatine, Glen, Fonda and Mohawk.

"The storms have been more frequent and severe over the past years," commented Smith, who noted that such significant incidents -- this storm produced 4-6 inches of rain -- "take a financial toll on people and departments."

"There's nothing you can do about it, and it's frustrating for everybody involved," he said, noting that rain early Friday afternoon receded just as it seemed it would pose an additional threat.

As of Tuesday night, village of Canajoharie residents were still waiting for a boil water order to be lifted. Canajoharie Mayor Francis Avery said that the village's primary source of water, the reservoir located at the corner of Gerhartz and Groff roads in the town of Palatine -- infiltrated by flood water Thursday -- had been completely flushed and replenished with clean water.

"A water sample was taken to the laboratory yesterday," he said Tuesday. "But, it's a 24-hour turnaround," Avery commented, explaining that results were expected anytime.

He said that while village residents were under the order, they were supplied water by the Smith St. reservoir, which had only been 50 percent drained by Tuesday, with 3-4 days worth of water left in supply.

Though the water being supplied to the village by the Smith St. tank was clean, the boil water order was issued as a safety precaution.

Once the village received the go-ahead to return to the Palatine water supply, the process was as simple as opening a valve allowing flow back into Canajoharie.

During the storm, the underground stream flowing through filtration plant property couldn't handle Thursday evening's deluge, sending the water above ground, directly over the clean water table. The surface water also washed away a large chunk of filtration plant land, exposing the underground drainage system.

"The water was all the way across the whole thing and it got into the tank," said DPW Superintendent Jeffrey Swartz, who said that while the tank wasn't "full" of flood water, "enough got in there to contaminate the drinking water."

When Swartz arrived to survey the scene at the filtration plant Thursday around 8 p.m., he said the storm water was already covering the clean water system, which is surrounded by a rock-lined ditch that usually diverts water that the underground culvert system can't handle.

Avery stated, "we have an engineer looking at the water plant and he will be at our board meeting on Sept. 2 to follow-up on how we can alleviate flood water from damaging the plant."

A stream behind the Canajoharie DPW headquarters, on Old Fort Plain Road, also infiltrated the facility. Three inches of water, mud and debris flowed right through the building, potentially ruining anything that was on the ground, though the department's large equipment remained unharmed.

On Monday, Smith announced that the Montgomery County state of emergency instituted due to last week's storms had been lifted.

Joshua Thomas - The underground culvert system passing through Canajoharie Water Filtration Plant property in Palatine Bridge could not handle Thursday's heavy rain -- nor could the rock-ditch surrounding the water table -- and the entire clean water system was covered with flood water, infiltrating and compromising the village's clean drinking water.

Joshua Thomas - While a stream usually passes underground through Canajoharie Water Filtration Plant property, emptying through the now-exposed culvert system, a surge of above-ground water washed out a large section of land Thursday.

Joshua Thomas - A fire hydrant on the Palatine Bridge side of the NYS Thruway bridge drains the village of Canajoharie water table, which was compromised by Thursday evening's heavy rain.


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