News of Otsego County


Otsego County to receive low interest disaster relief loans for Butternut Valley flooding in July

Otsego County to receive low interest disaster relief loans for Butternut Valley flooding in July

Staff Report • Special to

As a result of severe flooding that affected the Butternut Valley area in July, the Small Business Administration is offering low-interest loans to businesses and residents affected by the flooding.

Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for repairs and $200,000 for homeowners to replace and repair real estate as well as $40,000 for personal property.

Interest rates are 2.8% for businesses, 2% for non-profits and 1.6% for homeowners and renters.

SBA administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman made the announcement on Monday, Sept. 13, in response to Governor Kathy Hochul requesting a disaster declaration for Otsego County, which also affects neighboring counties such as Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer and others.

“SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Otsego County’s small businesses and residents impacted by the severe storms and flooding,” Guzman said in a media release. “We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild.”

A disaster loan outreach center will be set up at the Morris Fire Department starting on Tuesday, Sept. 14, in order to answer questions about applications for the loan program.


Sen. Oberacker: Flood costs could exceed town budgets

Flood damage in Gilbertsville on Sunday, July 18, shows the extent of the problems left behind by Saturday’s storm. (Janice Costello).

Sen. Oberacker:
Flood costs could
exceed town budgets

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

The flooding that occurred in Gilbertsville, Morris and Pittsfield on Saturday, July 17, is expected to cost millions and elected officials are calling for federal and state funding to pay for some of the damages.

State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, estimated that the amount of money needed for the flood damage in Butternuts and Morris would far exceed their total respective town budgets.

“After what I’ve seen, it would be conservative (that damages) would cost at least their budgets and then some,” Oberacker said.

Gilbertsville and Morris hit by massive flooding
Flood damage in a Main Street business in Morris is evident Sunday, July 18. (Kevin Limiti/

Gilbertsville and Morris
hit by massive flooding

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

MORRIS — Heavy rains Saturday, July 17, led to massive flooding in the western part of Otsego County and left officials in several towns and villages assessing the damage Sunday morning.

Main Street in Morris looked like a disaster zone, Sunday, July 18, with construction crews and the Morris Fire Department working to clean up the damage from the previous night’s storm.

Morris FD officials said nearly every business was damaged by flooding, with water reaching as a high as a foot at a certain point and rain fall accumulating to three and half inches in less than an hour.

Fears Of Flooding Dim Neahwa Park


Fears Of Flooding

Dim Neahwa Park

Fest Of Lights Returns Christmas Day

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig this morning helps stake down displays for the Festival of Lights in anticipation of high winds later today. For safety reasons, and possible flooding, all electricity to the Neahwa Park displays has been disconnected for tonight only. The Festival will resume at dusk Christmas Day. (David Hayes photo for
Water Woes Return To Susquehanna SPCA
All Animals Safe, But Cleanup Could Take Days

Water Woes Return

To Susquehanna SPCA

The kennels and the isolation buildings were both flooded, a scene that met the staff of the Susquehanna SPCA this morning. 

By IAN AUSTIN  • Special to

Neil Maney. Phil Simmons Pump & Well Service, lowers a water pump into the flooded septic tanks of the SPCA alongside Kenny Palmatier, Walter Wyble and Phil Simmons. (Ian Austin/

COOPERSTOWN – Six cats and three dogs were rescued from the Susquehanna SPCA Isolation Building  and kennels this morning after overnight rains flooded the it with over 12 inches of water.

Executive Director Stacie Haynes was notified of the flooding around 6:30am by their landscaper Al Saltenberger. “I left as quickly as I could, but there was no cell phone coverage this morning and that delayed me being able to call in the staff until I reached the building,” said Haynes.

Before the rest of the staff arrived Haynes was joined by passerby Aaron Cleveland, a security officer at Bassett, who helped her move the frightened animals into dry and safe locations.  “Last time we flooded we took steps to have mitigation in place.” said Haynes, “We put in gravel, put in rip-rap, and more. We have had no problems and felt really good about the work we did until today.”

Flood Waters Down in Unadilla

Flood Waters Down In Unadilla

Though the waters of the Susquehanna River were still high, by mid-afternoon, they had fallen below the 11 foot flood marker. A flood watch remains in effect until tomorrow. (Ian Austin/

UNADILLA –  Though the floodwaters have receded to under 10 feet, a flood warning remains in effect until Saturday afternoon at Unadilla.

Flood stage is considered at 11 feet, and the river is reportedly just under 10 feet as of 5 p.m.. The National Weather Service predicted minor flooding between Main Street and River Road, and drivers are advised not to drive across flooded bridges or roads.

The Rivers Are High, But Otsego Roads Are Clear

Rivers Are High, But

Otsego Roads Are Open

The water gauge on the Main Street bridge in Oneonta shows the water up nearly 11 feet this afternoon.  (Ian Austin /

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Rain, sleet and warmer temperatures may have made the rivers rise, but according to Robert O’Brien, Director of 911 Communications for the county, all roads in Otsego are clear and no flood warnings are in effect.

“We have seen an increase in requests for Fire Departments to respond to flooded basement calls,” he said. “But they’re very minor at this point. It is evident that through the hard work of our Town, Village, State and County Highway crews, issues with flooded roadways have been very minimal. At this point in time, we are not aware of any present or ongoing issues. ”

Animal Shelter Floods, All Animals Safe

Animal Shelter Floods,

All Animals Safe

Gaylord Dillingham, Susquehanna Animal Shelter Board President watches as Executive Director Stacie Haynes pouring water out of a cat carrier after Saturday night’s rains left their isolation building flooded. While there were some wet paws, all animals were safe and were relocated to dry rooms while the building is cleaned up. A large stock of blankets and dog food were lost, and the shelter is currently seeking donations. (Ian Austin/


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