Village slowly returns to normal after floods of water and ice

CAMPBELL, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Following an afternoon of turmoil throughout Steuben County, officials say water levels are beginning to recede and families are being allowed back into their homes. 

The Cohocton River, normally a quiet river was a thoroughfare for a traffic of ice chunks. The ice jammed at certain points, causing water and more ice to spill over and around the ice mounds.

"I know this area is prone to flooding due to the ice jams in the river, I mean we're only 200 yards from the river," C.J. King, a Campbell resident, said. "When you live that close you have to expect it, you have to be ready, but I never thought it'd be this."

Overflowing the river banks, water and ice reached homes and streets. It flooded everything in its wake.

The water only reached King's driveway, sparing his home.

"We remember the '72 flood where all this was all underwater, including this house," King said. "I was just like 'okay we got to start moving thing upstairs, we've got to,' you know, 'get everything off the main floor.' If it goes as high as the second floor, it's gone anyway."

Before 3 p.m., Campbell was under a state of emergency. People evacuated their homes and the village was shut down. The elementary school served as an emergency shelter.

"There were a couple of evacuations we had to make with high trucks, getting people out of their houses through the water," Chief Joe McUmber, of the Campbell Fire Department said, "All in all, you know, it went better than it could have."

At 5 p.m., The state of emergency was lifted, but it didn't mean people could return home immediately. 

Fire crews and Corning Natural Gas personnel went home to home, inspecting for flood damage. They also looked for the chance of possible gas leaks from flooded appliances.

"The last thing we want is a resident to go into their house with an unknown gas leak, just to make matters worse," McUmber said. "As soon as we get it clear, they're allowed to go back to their residence."

Steuben County officials said that nearly all Campbell residents are back in their homes. They also said no one checked in to the elementary school for refuge and it's now closed.


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