Akwesasne flooding displaces nearly 100 people; some roadways still considered dangerous 2/25/2018

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Akwesasne flooding displaces nearly 100 people; some roadways still considered dangerous
Sunday, February 25, 2018 – 11:25 am

Grey Street has been washed out due to severe flooding along the St. Regis River in Akwesasne, where a State of Emergency is in effect.

AKWESASNE — Ninety-six people in Akwesasne have been displaced by flooding and have not yet been able to return to their homes, according to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.

Tribal officials running an incident command post say flood waters from the St. Regis River remains stable with an outflow of 5,110 cubic feet per second, and today’s projects half inch of rain could slightly increase that.

An ice jam on the lower part of the river has pushed flood waters in Akwesasne and Fort Covington, causing flooding in both communities.

The command post includes the the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Emergency Planning Office, Tribal Police Department and Hogansburg-Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department, with support from county and state agencies.At 6:32 p.m. on Friday, the National Weather Service extended a flood warning for the St. Regis River until 7 p.m. on Saturday due to ice jams accompanied by rain and snowmelt. The command post reports continued flooding along the St. Regis River extending to the northern border of the tribe’s jurisdiction.

At 9 a.m. on Saturday, the following roadways remained closed due to high water levels and ice

jams: Church Street at the St. Regis Mohawk School, Grey Street (due to a washout) and North Road between state Route 37C and Solomon Road, which is currently being cleaned by the Town of Brasher. As of Sunday morning Mill

Street, Pearl Street, Solomon Road, state Route 37 and the Hogansburg Bridge, as well as the entire St. Regis Road have re-opened.

For personal safety, command post officials say they are instructing travelers to avoid the flood areas and do not remove the barriers placed on closed roadways.

“Roads that are still closed have not been assessed for safety and travelers should exercise caution by finding alternate routes,” the tribe said in a news release. “Individuals are instructed to stay away from flood areas and do not kayak, canoe or walk in the water. Floodwaters are considered hazardous material, as ice jams have dislodged debris, including fuel and other harmful substances.”

No donations or contributions are being accepted at this time however, that does not preclude community groups or people to coordinate separate efforts. The command post is “continuing to be focused on responding to the flood warning and the safety of local residents,” the tribe said.

The tribe’s Division of Social Services reports that for the ongoing safety of 96 displaced residents their hotel stays have been extended until Monday at the Comfort Inn in Akwesasne and the Quality Inn in Massena. On Monday, a determination will be made based on home assessments for another extension.

“The Unified Incident Command is encouraging community members and others to please consider providing temporary lodging for any displaced family members or friends,” the release said.

Command post officials are activating the Akwesasne Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to assist with response efforts. Tribal officials are asking CERT members to contact Katrina Jacobs, SRMT Emergency Planning Office, by calling (315) 296-2183 for reporting to duty and assignments.

The state of emergency issued by the Tribal

Council at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday remains in effect until the

declaration is rescinded.

Anyone who needs assistance can call the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police at (518) 358-9200 or Franklin County Emergency Services at 911.

People can listen for information and instructions on 97.3 FM CKON, the tribe’s Facebook page and website, as well as on Akwesasne TV.