Tioga County False Emergency Alarm

TIOGA COUNTY, N.Y. (18-NEWS) -- An accidental emergency alert told Richford residents to evacuate last night due to a break in a dam.

The Tioga County Dispatch Center's reverse 911 systems falsely alerted Richford residents to evacuate last night after authorities were alerted of a possible dam breach.

In response, The New York State Department of Evironmental Conservation Engineers, Transportation Resident Engineers and Private Civil Engineers examined the dam and proposed a three step plan.

Dick LeCount of The Tioga County Emergency Management Office says the community is in no threat or danger.

"There's a three phase approach to handling this situation up there. One is to ditch which was taken care of. Phase two was to continue draining the pond and phase three was to remove the pond completely. There is a problem with this dam, but unless we get rains of biblical proportion, it's not going to happen okay, but if it does, the whole town will be flooded, but yes, the people of Richford will get another phone call just like they got last night."

Phase one has been completed, water has been reduced to a safe level. Officials say there is no clear risk regarding the dam and safety. The privately owned property will be continued to be monitored and evaluated to further mitigate any remaining issues. The next steps include slowly draining the lake as proposed by the DEC.

Any further questions can be directed to the Tioga County Sheriff's Office.

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