BINGHAMTON, N.Y. —
Two hundred New York National Guard soldiers and airmen were placed on state active duty yesterday after nearly seven inches of rain fell on parts of the state’s Finger Lakes region Aug. 14.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered the guard response as the state declared a disaster area in 14 counties in the Finger Lakes area and counties in New York’s Southern Tier region, where heavy rains caused streams and lakes to rise. The declaration allows the state to move assets — including National Guard members — to assist local governments.
On Aug. 14, 30 airmen from the 174th Attack Wing, based at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, were deployed to Ovid, New York, to assist local governments there in clearing debris. A priority was to clear roads and keep drainage ditches and culverts from clogging and overflowing.
The 204th Engineer Battalion in Binghamton mobilized 25 soldiers with high-axle vehicles for immediate storm response. The Susquehanna River flows past Binghamton, and the river’s water level was 4 feet over flood stage at one point before it subsided later on Aug. 14.
Yesterday, an additional 150 soldiers and vehicles were placed on duty in Auburn, Binghamton, Walton and Horseheads, New York. All elements were equipped with military vehicles capable of negotiating…