Southern Tier Officials Expect Flooding Over Christmas


BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — More turbulent weather might reach the Southern Tier over the Christmas holiday.

A flood watch is in effect across the region Thursday afternoon through Friday morning.

The Susquehanna River under the Court Street bridge in Binghamton. (Sarah Gager/WSKG)

During a Broome County media briefing on Wednesday, Emergency Services Director Mike Ponticello said the county is working closely with the National Weather Service to track the storm.

With one to two inches of rain and additional snowmelt, Ponticello said flooding is expected along all main rivers.

“At this point, we’re saying we want residents to use caution and start being aware of what’s going on at the rivers if you live in a flood-prone area along the main stem rivers,” Ponticello said.

He added that flood levels might be highest on Christmas Day or the day after.

Temperatures are then expected to drop Friday night. County Executive Jason Garnar said that may cause rainwater on the roads to freeze over.

Broome County remains in a state of emergency after a winter storm last week dropped nearly four feet of snow in some areas. Garnar asked that residents stay up-to-date on all travel restrictions.

Garnar also announced that the county had reached new records for COVID-19 on Wednesday. It recorded 141 new active cases, as well as a record-high number of total active cases on a single day at 811.

“Without a doubt, I am going to say that this last week has probably been the toughest week we have seen yet for the pandemic here in Broome County,” Garnar said.

The mobile testing site also saw the most residents in a single day on Monday, with 322 residents tested. 59 of those resulted in positive COVID-19 cases.

“These are not records that we’re proud of,” Garnar said. “It’s an indication that this virus is spreading very fast throughout Broome County.”

70 county residents were hospitalized with the virus as of Wednesday. Garnar did not indicate how many additional people from other counties were hospitalized as well.