A stretch of state highway 17 remains closed today after 2 straight days of flash flooding in our area.
Since Sunday night our area has been pummeled with torrential downpours on and off. River gauges are getting their workout going up and down, but not nearing dangerous levels despite the drastic fluctuations.
Since yesterday morning all state highway traffic that’s wanted to travel through Tioga County has had to get off the highway between Exit 62 in Nichols and Exit 63 in Lounsbury. The East River Road detour has been 3 miles of solid traffic in each direction on a two lane residential road with no shoulder, and dangerously near the Susquehanna River bank in some parts. It’s not meant to handle this kind of traffic, yet the bridges that pass over the Wappasening Creek in both directions remain closed due to foundation damage. Experts say at least a few days will be needed for the water levels to go down, for proper assessment to take place and work to be done.
The Governor has dispatched state aid in the form of 39 staff, and a small army of heavy equipment to Broome and Tioga Counties to assist with cleanup.
Town of Tioga Supervisor Lou Zorn is asking for no unnecessary travel. The following road are closed:
Neiger Hollow Road
Diamond Valley Road (bridges already closed for replacement)
Dry Brook Road
Meanwhile, the frustration level in Vestal remains high. Since 2006, Vestal has been seeking permission to remove a river blockage of fallen trees but the DEC won’t allow it.
State guidelines state that municipalities are not allowed to make changes that would affect the environment. Vestal town supervisor John Schaffer says they have the manpower to do it, and all of the necessary resources to do it, just not the state’s permission. The town plans to continue working with the state, but is hoping to get some of these regulations lifted as soon as possible.
But as of right now, the state has no plans to make any changes.
The Tioga County Department of Solid Waste will be collecting unwanted tires and scrap metal in Candor, Tioga, and Barton this weekend. If you live in Candor, you can drop off up to six tires at no charge to the Town Highway Garage from 12 to 4pm today or tomorrow and from 8am-noon Saturday. Town of Tioga households can drop off up to eight tires for free around the corner from the Town Hall from 9am to noon tomorrow and Saturday. Finally, the Town of Barton will collect up to eight tires for free from residents from 9am to 3pm tomorrow and Saturday at the highway department’s gravel pit. Proof of residency is required for each location. The tire and scrap metal cleanup is offered in an attempt to minimize potential areas for mosquitoes to reproduce and to beautify local towns.
Authorities have located the source of the large explosion heard and felt across the Twin Tiers on Saturday. According to New York State Police, they have located a large blast site in a field off of Diamond Valley Road in the Town of Tioga. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist authorities with the investigation. Evidence from the scene is being collected and transported to an FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia for chemical testing. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call New York State Police at 607-687-3961.
One person was injured and airlifted from an accident involving a motorcycle and a deer on Halsey Valley Road in Tioga Center Friday. At around 10am, Tioga Center firefighters were dispatched to the accident scene in the area of 875 Halsey Valley Road, according to scanner reports. We don’t have many details at this time, but at least one person was transported via helicopter from the scene with unknown injuries to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre. We will bring you more information as we receive it.
Several Tioga County Fire Departments responded to a house fire in downtown Owego yesterday afternoon. The initial 911 call for a working structure fire at 107 Liberty Street in Owego came in to first responders at around 1pm. Shortly after arriving on scene, the Owego Fire Department requested manpower and resources from the Apalachin, Campville, and Tioga Center Fire Departments. An official cause of the fire has not been made public by fire investigators.
Tioga Central School District will not be receiving funding in the first round of New York’s Smart School Bond Act. Despite this, Tioga School Superintendent Scot Taylor says that Tioga Central appears to be in good standing to receive money in the next round of Smart Schools funding. The money would be used by Tioga Central to upgrade classroom technology, security, and kindergarten classrooms. The second round of Smart School funding is expected to be dispersed this summer.
Jonathon Marks, a representative of the Tioga County Fair, joined us on the WEBO Morning Show this morning to talk about this year’s fair. The Tioga County Fair Board is currently interested in getting individuals to preregister for this year’s demolition derby, which will be on Wednesday July 6th and Saturday July 9th. A copy of the demolition derby entry form can be found here: http://tiogacofair.com/files/2016DerbyEntryBlank.pdf
The full interview with Jonathon Marks can be heard below.
Tioga County Sheriff’s Deputies have responded to the same home on Waverly Road in the Town of Tioga twice in 11 days. Authorities were first at the home on March 21st after an investigation led them to arrest one of the home’s residents, 34-year-old Michael Webb. Webb was arrested in connection to the robbery which occurred at Visions Federal Credit Union in Newark Valley earlier in March. While there, deputies also located several chemicals and lab equipment consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine. Webb was also charged with the manufacture of the illegal drug. He has since been arraigned and sent to the Tioga County Jail without bail.
Then on April 1st, authorities responded back to the same residence on Waverly Road for a report of a suspicious person. While there, a second methamphetamine lab was located. As a result, 36-year-old Scott Cole and 25-year-old Cassandra DiMarco were both arrested on drug related charges. Both Cole and DiMarco were arraigned and sent to the Tioga County Jail on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.