GREENPORT—A section of earth about 300 yards wide by 100 yards long collapsed behind the Sons and Daughters of Italy building at 27 Bridge Street off Route 66, creating a blockage in the Claverack Creek below, Thursday, November 16 at 2 p.m.
A similar landslide took place in the same area in 2006.
A State of Emergency was declared in the towns of Greenport and Stockport “to protect life, property and public infrastructure, in addition to other such emergency assistance as deemed necessary,” said a press release from the County Emergency Management Office.
Emergency conditions existed that could threaten public safety.
The area where the landslide took place was initially considered unstable and unsafe, officials said at a press conference at the Public Safety Building.
Multiple local, county and state resources were sent to the scene.
A temporary dam was built to keep the water from surging into any residential areas and by Friday morning, Emergency Management officials met with multiple agencies and formulated a plan for dealing with the embankment collapse.
A private contractor was hired with expertise in dealing with landslides. Crews were working to redirect the stream and get the water flowing again.
Sheriff David Bartlett said in the press conference, that no one was hurt in the landslide and that he did not believe anyone was in danger. Officials did ask people to avoid the area to allow emergency crews to remove hazards and get the situation under control.
Bridge Street was closed until further notice.
Engineers knowledgeable about the soil types that exist at the location were called in to assess and remedy the situation, according to the sheriff.
Town, county and state officials worked collectively to remove the hazards.
Residents who live downstream from Bridge Street are not at risk and the water is flowing as outlined in the work plan with the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), said an Emergency Management press release.
By November 20, officials reported that the collapsed bank had been stabilized by the contractor under supervision by Columbia County Department of Public Works.
The contractor was to continue work under the supervision and guidance of the Army Corps of Engineers and DEC. “The contractor has successfully installed an emergency channel to prevent any water from backing up, there is still work required at Sons and Daughters of Italy to completely stabilize all soils.
The Town and County will continue to monitor the area until the project is completed and the current State of Emergency has been extended to Friday, November 23, 2017 by County Chairman Matt Murrell,” said the release.