City of Ithaca offering free sand and sandbags to residents as flood concerns spread

January 9, 2014

The City of Ithaca began offering free sand and sandbags to residents today as officials discovered signs that Fall Creek, too, is contributing to the flooding conditions in Ithaca's northside neighborhood. Ice jams in Cascadilla Creek have been causing water to back up into neighborhoods since Monday.

Flooding on Lincoln Street on Monday. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum.Flooding on Lincoln Street on Monday. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Lawrence Birnbaum.The Ithaca Department of Public Works will have sand and bags available this afternoon, Friday, and Saturday at 245 Pier Road, next to the Streets and Facilities salt storage barn, beyond The Haunt on Willow Avenue. Residents are responsible for filling and transporting their own sandbags, though the City says neighborhood volunteers may be available to assist people who are unable to do this themselves.

The City says low-lying property near Newman Golf Course and portions of the Ithaca High School parking lot were flooding yesterday and today. The high school moved student pick-up to the Lake Street side of the campus for today and tomorrow.

An inch or more of snow accumulation likely on Friday, followed by much warmer temperatures and rain on Saturday, could exacerbate the situation as more water flows through the area's creeks, and more melting ice breaks off into the water and heads downstream where it could cause further jams.

In addition to continuing to use excavating equipment to break up the ice responsible for much of the flooding, City crews are pumping warmed effluent water from the Wastewater Treatment Plant onto the ice to expedite the melting process. The post-treatment water is normally released into Cayuga Lake.


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