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News in brief

June 8, 2011

New water plan will provide higher flows, reservoir voids

REGION — New York State, New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware have signed a one-year agreement to establish a new flow management plan for the Upper Delaware River. The plan modifies the existing FFMP to include higher releases during normal and wet conditions and voids in the reservoirs during certain periods of the year that will help mitigate flooding.

The press release announcing the signing of the agreement said that the more generous allocations of water are made possible by a mathematical computer model called the Operational Support Tool, which provides more complete and up-to-date information than had been available previously. It gathers data continuously, allowing for timely decisions.

Phil Chase, Town of Deerpark representative on the Upper Delaware Council and a long-time champion of increased releases for the river, lauded the agreement as historic. Citing as an example of the plan’s impact the fact that summer releases on the Neversink will have risen from 15 cfs in the 1970s to 140 cfs today, he said, “They’re using this to increase the flows, not just on the Neversink, but also on the East Branch, and to stabilize the West Branch.... People don’t realize at this time how important this is, and what a victory it is. To see rivers come back—when do you see it? Usually it goes the other way.”

Drowning may lead to lawsuit

CLARYVILLE, NY — A drowning that occurred last year in Neversink when Nancy Lavelle of Willowemoc was swept into the Neversink River in her car last October may lead to a lawsuit involving both the Town of Neversink and Sullivan County.
Lavelle was driving on Hunter Road in Claryville during a heavy storm when her car was washed into the river. Her body was found the next day, October 2, 2010.

Lavelle’s daughter, Celina Hundley, has asked the state Supreme Court to allow her to file a claim on the case even though the 90-day period required by law has passed. The grounds for the motion include the fact that Hundley was unable to get a police report on the incident until April 25. Possible issues that might be covered by the claim could include whether officials should have closed the road given the weather and flooding circumstances.

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