Frustrated and flooded. Again.

Anguish, Anxiety - Whitesboro Residents Await Buyouts and More Flooding

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Whitesboro residents living alone Sauquoit Creek had their basements and backyards fill up with water again on Monday after battling flood waters from severe storms on Friday.

''It's gonna be worse by the end of the week,'' said Karen Hughes, a lifelong resident of Sauquoit Street. ''There's more rain coming, and its: Here we go again...[the water] is just gonna come right back up,'' Hughes told WIBX 950 while looking at her still submerged backyard. By 11:00AM on Monday, the water was receding in neighboring backyards, and roads covered by flood water earlier - Main Street in Yorkville - had re-opened.

Hughes, 72, recalls what it was like in her 'younger years' on Sauquoit Street, when severe flooding wasn't much of a concern.

A project in the early 1980's that added storm-drains along her street was one that 'helped immensely.' Occasionally, she said, the basement might get a few inches of water from a big storm, but nothing like she's experienced over the last decade, with rising and devastating flood waters three times in 2011, once in 2013 and 2017, twice in 2019, and now.

The devastation caused during Halloween 2019 storm is what prompted a federal buyout program that has given homeowners a chance to sell their property for market value and move-on to find a new one.

''Our environment is changing right now, for everyone. I feel so bad for the people who are having tornadoes now,'' Hughes said, referring to a pair of recent twisters to touch down in Oneida County. ''The issue for us - if they don't keep the creek cleaned out it, that's when we have problems because it jams either at the Main Street, the Boulevard Bridge, or the CSX bridge.''

WIBX snapped this photo along the CSX Bridge crossing at Sauquoit Creek where a large tree and other debris had built-up, along with rising water that reached the deck of the railroad bridge.

Hughes is among the frequently flooded residents who opted-in to a federal buyout program. However, she says she has no idea when the buyouts will be finalized.

''None,'' she told WIBX 950.

At her age and income, Hughes said she is unable to get a mortgage to buy a new home. As she and other residents wait for word on the buyouts, they're also just waiting for the next the next round of rising water.

''That's the big issue - the anxiety and the stress involved in all this, and the waiting. They don't even keep us updated, if we could just be updated as to what is happening.''

Add to that the physical toll all of this can take on one's health.

Hughes pointed to the water stained siding along her home from flooding last Friday where mold is now forming. And, pointed out numerous sidewalks that are now growing mold and having been submerged in so much water.




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