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Montgomery Co. deals with flooding aftermath
CANAJOHARIE-- A boil water order is in effect for several area communities including the Village of Canajoharie, where heavy flooding contaminated the village's water source forcing the water treatment plant offline.
Officials say the heavy rain was simply too much for the system to handle. They say flood waters seeped into a 550,000-gallon tank where the village gets their drinking water.
Water is now being fed to the village from an alternative reservoir and it could be days before everything is back to normal.
"It was just a case of four inches of rain in less than two hours," Mayor Francis Avery said.
The village was left to clean up what a swollen drainage system spewed all over several streets.
Public works crews are on overdrive resurfacing washed out roadways and thawing out their own garage, which is now peppered with soggy sand.
"It's not unprecedented we've had flooding like this before," Avery said.
But the village has never had its water treatment facility kicked offline before.
Village of Canajoharie Water Superintendent Jeff Swartz says the overwhelmed drainage system seeped into a 550,000 gallon tank contaminating the village drinking supply.
"We have a 2 million gallon storage tank over in the village so the village residents are getting water from that tank," Swartz said.
There is still an active boil order but that is something officials say is just a precaution
"So we've shut the water plant right down. None of that water is here in the pipes," Avery said.
But water crews and engineers have to figure out a way to get it back. It may require restructuring the system so the water supply isn't contaminated again.
"We're in constant contact with the health department as to what we should be doing," Swartz said.
They are also dealing with an exposed drainage system right on the water treatment facility's property. The heavy rains washed out an entire embankment.
Swartz says the cost to get everything back up and running could be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Officials tell us it could be late Tuesday before the boil water order in the Village of Canajoharie is lifted.
There is also a boil water order in Fonda, which is cleaning up from flooding as well.