October 21, 2021

Flash floods wash over Cortland area

Image from accuweather.com

Flash floods were reported in spots across the Greater Cortland area last night and this morning, and a flash flood watch continues through 6 p.m. today, the National Weather Service at Binghamton reports.

Route 221 just inside the town limits of Marathon flooded about 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, said Alvin Doty Jr., assistant fire chief for the Willet Fire Department and Willet town supervisor. The flooding lasted about 20 minutes, he said, and the road was closed until the water receded.

A road crew put down three loads of gravel to repair the damage, said Randy Ensign, superintendent of highways for the town of Marathon.

Other flood reports were made near Route 38A in Moravia and southeast of Cincinnatus.

The wetness continues today, and the weather service issued a flood advisory until 12:15 p.m., and minor flooding in a number of greater Cortland area communities, including Cortland, Solon, Virgil and Dryden.

Downtown Cortland saw 0.34 inches of rain between 8 a.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. today. The weather service expects between three-quarters and an inch of rain today, and another half-inch tonight.

However, the flash floods show no sign of filling the rivers, the National Weather Service reported. The Tioughnioga River at Cortland is expected to peak at 5.7 feet around 8 p.m. Friday, well below the minor flood stage of 8 feet. The Otselic River at Cincinnatus is expected to peak at 3.4 feet about 2 p.m. Friday.
Its minor flood stage is 9 feet.

Still, flash floods are unpredictable, so the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission offer these tips:

• Plan ahead and know the risks before flooding happens. Monitor NOAA’s All-Hazards Radio, or your favorite news source for vital weather-related information.

• If you see or expect flooding, get to higher ground. Leave typical flood areas such as ditches, ravines, dips or low spots.

• Don’t wait to see it. Flash floods develop quickly.

• Avoided flooded areas. Do not cross flowing streams; do not drive across flooded roads, which may be washed out, and just a few inches of water can wash a vehicle away.

• Do not camp or park along streams and washes.

• Never cross emergency barriers.