ALBANY -- All levels of government have to invest in more robust infrastructure because floods like the ones that hit upstate over the past few days are likely to recur as global climate change spawns more extreme weather events, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at a new firehouse that replaced one washed away by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
"I understand budgets are tight, but we can't be shortsighted either," Cuomo said, according to the Glens Falls Post-Star. Cuomo was in the Essex County town of Keene on Saturday for the firehouse ribbon-cutting.
Cuomo declared a state of emergency because of flooding in 15 counties in central and northern New York on Saturday.
Flooding devastated the Mohawk Valley town of Fort Plain on Friday, damaging 70 buildings and sweeping away a mobile home with an 87-year-old woman inside. Searchers continued to look for her body on Sunday. Cuomo said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be in the area in a few days, assisting residents applying for federal assistance.
In Oneida, 150 homes were evacuated when Oneida Creek jumped its banks Friday. Police and firefighters continued to take people to their homes by boat Sunday to get medications and pets. Mayor Max Smith said a bus shuttle service was being set up to provide transportation for people who can't get to their flooded vehicles.
Moderate flooding is expected to continue along the Mohawk and Susquehanna rivers through this morning. The National Weather Service has posted flood warnings for those rivers.
Highway workers were busy over the weekend repairing washouts that happened Friday in Keene Valley, Jay and Johnsburg in the Adirondacks.