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MHNN exclusive

WESTBROOKVILLE – Families were rescued and evacuated from their
homes in Westbrookville this afternoon (Friday) as warming temperatures
caused the breakup of ice on Pine Kill Creek, resulting in an ice jam
and extensive flooding. Firefighters assisted at least two families in
escaping from their home, and others in evacuating to safer quarters as
water extended across properties and surrounded multiple homes and structures
in its path.

As of mid-afternoon, about 15 individuals had relocated to Westbrookville’s
firehouse where they received food and shelter. Others had evacuated to
homes of friends and relatives.

Rapidly flowing water ran across properties, surrounded structures, and
carried huge chunks of ice, logs, garbage cans, and other debris as it
made its way through woods, across fields, and over Route 209.

Westbrookville Past Chief Andy Mikulski said the two families were assisted
from the second floor of their home by firefighters from Mamakating who
used a front-end bucket loader to help get them out.

Mikulski said the Pike Kill Creek had several areas of concern in its
path that stretches across a large area, including from Yankee Lake to
the Neversink River and then to the Delaware River.

First Assistant Chief Bill Lattimer, who was on scene near a bridge that
runs over Route 209, said the flooding happened suddenly as a result of
the thaw. Multiple units were on scene and attempting to redirect the
flow by moving ice to keep channels open.

Mikulski, reached mid-afternoon at Westbrookville’s firehouse for
a follow-up, said it seemed that issue may be easing up. He felt the situation
was handled well and was grateful for the fast, safe evacuation of all
who needed to leave flooded areas.


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