Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will provide long term funding for the Owego Creek stream gauge and other key locations along the Susquehanna and Chemung River that provide a warning system to local families and businesses that endure yearly threats to dangerous flooding.
Along with the Village of Owego, USGS committed to restoring funding for stream gauges at the Susquehanna River at Unadilla, Susquehanna River at Bainbridge, Susquehanna River at Windsor, Susquehanna River at Binghamton, Susquehanna River at Owego, and the Chemung River at Elmira.
“After back-to-back years of storms that swept away roads, bridges, businesses and entire communities, we know stream gauges are a key tool to staying ahead of the storm, and keeping our families safe,” Senator Gillibrand said. “When we let this funding fall to the wayside, we leave families and businesses vulnerable to more dangerous flooding. This is the commitment we need to keep the right precautions in place protect us from disaster.”
Hurricane Lee and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 produced massive flooding throughout the Southern Tier and counties where these gauges are located. Ninety percent of Owego was left under water as a result of these storms.
USGS stream-flow information provides the scientific basis for protecting, managing, and sustaining freshwater that is safe and available for drinking and for other competing water demands, including for irrigation, energy, industry, recreation, and ecosystem health. The information is available in real-time, which is critical to protect and minimize loss of life and property from water hazards, including floods, droughts, and debris flows.