Oneonta Recovers From Flood

By Mike Trim

July 22, 2010 Updated Aug 23, 2006 at 1:06 AM EDT

City of Oneonta trucks drive in and out of the public works building on Silas Lane.

It's one of three city buildings that took on nearly 3 feet of flood water in June.

Oneonta Mayor John Nader says it took quick work to save this building, the public transit garage, and the city's wastewater treatment plant.

"We had people working overtime and through weekends to get things functional. We contracted on an expedited basis to get the wastewater treatment facility restored. We think as an environmentally conscious city that was imperative," says Nader.

Nader says the treatment plant suffered nearly 2 million in damages.

It was shut down three weeks.

During that time, solid waste normally treated here dumped into the Susquehanna River.

Wastewater plant workers say the facility is now 40 percent operational, and completing repairs is top priority.

"Real important to people downstream to us, really, you know, the quality of the river if they're going to be using the river for any recreational purposes, it needs to be up and running," says Scott Burger of Oneonta Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Nader says while the city works to bring the plant up to normal, it's also working to prevent future flooding.

"We think if we don't get into the creeks and streams fairly quickly and remedy that, that we face flooding again in the fall and certainly, potentially again after a snowy winter," says Nader.

Nader says the city will clean debris and repair shifted creek, stream, and river beds.

He hopes that will prevent future flood damage seen by his city.

Mayor Nader says all vehicles in the public works and transit garage were moved out before flood waters reached those buildings.

He says the dozens of city employees in those buildings have all returned to work there.

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