Please don't empty sandbags into creeks, urges Mayor Myrick

January 13, 2014

Mayor Svante Myrick has extended the City of Ithaca's local state of emergency through Thursday, due to flooding caused by ice jams in the Fall Creek and northside neighborhoods. CIty officials are urging residents to keep their sandbags through the spring rainy season, and under no circumstances to empty them into the street or area creeks.

The sandbags can be emptied into yards, but as there was some salt in with the sand used to fill the sandbags at the DPW facility last week, officials say the sand should not be used in gardens.

Clean-up efforts will continue this week, and low-lying areas of the City continue to experience localized flooding, though staff and volunteer efforts "successfully mitigated widespread flooding," officials say. "We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the city workers that literally averted a natural disaster," says Mayor Svante Myrick.

The Mayor said yesterday, "We are already exploring every option that could prevent these [ice jams] from impacting homeowners in the future." He says the City Historian found similar occurrences in 1912, 1935, and 1943, all before the Army Corps of Engineers built the system of flood control channels that route water from the area's hills and creeks to Cayuga Lake.

Ithaca's Waterfront Trail is closed from the area of Willow Avenue and the Haunt to Stewart Park. Deep holes are covered by ice and water, and the trail will remain closed until the damage can be repaired. The park and trail areas along Fall Creek and Cascadilla Creek are also closed due to the remaining dangers of high water flow rates and chunks of ice continuing to head downstream.

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