All Animals Safe, But Cleanup Could Take Days
By IAN AUSTIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
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.”
“No one here saw any flood warnings or received any alerts,” said Darla Youngs, operations and finance manager, as the fielded donations of towels and cleaning supplies. “This really drives home the importance of being at our new location.”
Phil Simmons, owner of Simmons Pump & Well Service service team were pumping out the flooded pump chambers. “This whole place is sitting on a giant lake.” he said, pointing into the pump chamber where water could be readily seen spilling into the basin. The septic tanks empty into the pump chamber before going to the leach field, but since it flooded you had water flooding in backwards and the pump burned out. We won’t be able to get down in there to repair the pump until all the water stops coming in.”
“This was not as big of a problem as it could have been.” said Haynes, “We had a half price adoption event this weekend and we had 48 animals go to new homes. Luckily, we only had to move nine.”
The SPCA is accepting donations of cleaning supplies and anyone willing to help with clean up efforts can come Saturday, Nov. 2.