Fort Plain orders voluntary evacuations after lessons from 2013 flood

February 26, 2017 12:25 AM

FORT PLAIN -- Severe weather Saturday evening hit a number of cities and towns in the region particularly hard.

In Fort Plain, some people evacuated their home as a precaution after the Otsquago Creek flooded over its banks in 2013.

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Neighbors described heavy wind, rain and snow during the worst of the storm.

Safety measures were put in place after the flood several years ago but village officials did not take any chances Saturday night.

Neighbors said a flood alarm went off between 6:30 and 7 pm.

Fort Plain Police announced voluntary evacuations for some areas including Reid, Abbott and Dairy streets.

In a Facebook message police said, they pulled the alarm because of the rapidly rising creek and areas where the banks had already been breached.

The Harry Hoag Elementary School was opened for evacuees, where Red Cross workers were waiting to help.

Tanya Towne, owner of The Sportsman’s Den, said the flood alarm brought back memories of the flood in 2013.

"The creek didn't actually cry all the way to where it would come into the village again but just the thought of it and the fear and hearing the alarm. And just I'm sure a lot of people…it put…we just didn't think it would happen again,” Towne said.

Chris Stevens, who lives with his wife on Abbott Street, which was one of the worst hit areas during the flood in 2013, said their home was spared because it is about 8 feet above street level.

But they did suffer serious property damage back then so they are relieved this was just a false alarm. 

“Back then we lost our sealer we lost our power we lost water gassed we had a whole house generator that ran a natural gas and we didn't even have that,” said Christopher Stevens, who lives on Abbott Street.

About five families of evacuees left the school and went home after flood waters receded.


Nia Hamm

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