State Sen. Patty Ritchie wants the regulators who help control the flow of the Black River to let Jefferson County residents know when flooding could occur, and do it via an automated alert system already in place called NY-ALERT.
At a recent meeting in her Albany office, Hudson River-Black River Regulating District officials said they'd be open to it, according to a news release from her office.
The NY-ALERT system is run by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, and uses email, text messages or phone calls to let people know about possible impending disasters — or school closings. The Hudson River-Black River Regulating District could get into the program within 30 days.
If the regulators were to enroll in it, they'd send out a message when releasing quantities of river flow that could cause flooding.
This whole thing started when the Black River was recently at its highest levels in 50 years. Regulators released water from the Stillwater Reservoir, but didn't alert people downstream — though they said that the releases were small and had no effect on river levels.