New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Office of Program Development, Planning and Research Hurricane Agnes Damage Files

Held by the New York State Archives

Overview of the Records


New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

In June 1972, Hurricane Agnes caused flooding that led to real property damage in many Hudson Valley, Central, and Southern Tier counties in New York. Emergency federal disaster loans were made available soon afterward. This series contains correspondence, news releases, newspaper clippings, damage survey reports, resolutions, travel vouchers, and weather data dealing with damage claims, emergency state response, and cleanup efforts resulting from Hurricane Agnes.
2 cubic feet (including 14 maps)
Inclusive Dates:
Series Number:

Scope and Content Note

The series contains correspondence, news releases, newspaper clippings, damage survey reports, resolutions, travel vouchers, and weather data dealing with damage claims, emergency state response, and cleanup efforts resulting from Hurricane Agnes.

In June 1972, Hurricane Agnes caused flooding that led to real property damage in many Hudson Valley, Central, and Southern Tier counties in New York. Emergency federal disaster loans were made available soon afterward. The records were generated and accumulated by the Department of Environmental Conservation's Bureau of Programming and Analysis. The records document the magnitude of the natural disaster (wind velocities, flood water levels, etc.), property damage through surveys completed according to federal guidelines, and the coordination, planning, and progress of disaster response efforts. Damage reports were compiled by department personnel and sent to the federal government; the department's responsibility for monitoring environmental conditions (especially water resources) led to its coordination of the environmental emergency.

Close to half of the series consists of damage survey reports. These reports were compiled by department personnel on a standard form (under Public Law 606 of the 91st Congress) submitted to the federal government, and contain detailed information on place and type of damage sustained. All are photocopies or carbon copies. They provide the following information: applicant's name and disaster location by state and county; disaster declaration date and inspection date; category of work to be performed (emergency or permanent); how work accomplished (contract or force account); location and description of damaged facilities; detailed description of damage; proposed work and estimate summaries of work to be performed (including quantity, unit, material and/or description, unit price and cost); insurance coverage (yes or no); recommendation (eligible or ineligible), with signature of federal inspector, agency, and date; and concurrences, with signature and agency/office of state inspector and signature of the applicant's representative.

A second standard type of information is found in drainage survey report forms that are compilations on stream improvement from headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These include name of county and stream, work category, and a total dollar amount. Some of these are marked "Complete" or "Submitted" with a date.

The series also includes the following: gauge readings from river stage report logs of the flood control emergency center, giving date, time, and height in feet of rivers/creeks at various sites; right of way agreements with property owners to allow removal of debris from state watercourses and adjacent lands; weather summaries from the National Weather Service Forecast Office (Albany); summary of a hydrologic study of tropical storm Agnes by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assess impact of the storm on design parameters of their projects and to guide rehabilitation and construction efforts; some photographs and slides of flood damage; press releases on flood conditions by the governor's office; memoranda regarding flood control coordination authorizations, lines of communication and recovery priorities, and personnel assignments; travel vouchers and statements, requests for advances, and information on related flood emergency expenses of state personnel; preliminary estimates of overtime expenses for emergency operations and recovery operations; memoranda on applying regulations to flood cleanup (e.g., open burning of dead trees), responsibility for flood plain insurance, and local insurance coverage;

correspondence and memoranda on criteria for flood protection activities, including budget recommendation to expand the cooperative program with the U.S. Geological Survey to obtain hydrologic and hydraulic data on floods (stream gaging program) to improve forecasting/warning systems; materials on the testimony of department officials before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Relief regarding disaster legislation and disaster operations; resolutions of county boards of supervisors to seek aid from federal and state agencies for damage conditions; and reports on the status of flood plain zoning and regulation by local governments.

The few maps found in the series are whiteprints or photocopies that are sometimes annotated to show areas of flood damage, location of flooding watercourses, or amount or extent of precipitation or flooding. Examples include: a set of six whiteprint project plans of the Susquehanna River from Binghamton to Waverly by the Corps of Engineers, annotated (by numbers 1 to 111) with stream clearing and debris removal sites that coincide with right of way agreements found elsewhere in the series; photocopies of standard road maps and maps of river districts annotated to show the amount of precipitation (in inches) at various sites along/near rivers; and unannotated photocopies or whiteprints of county maps and vicinity maps with general plans (e.g., of the Susquehanna River Basin showing project locations) apparently for referral on watercourses.

The series also contains several diagrams and mylar transparencies of flood stages (in feet/time) for rivers and streams at various points (e.g., Canisteo River at Hornell). There is data for the Canisteo, Chemung, Cohocton, and Tioga rivers, among others.

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Detailed Description

Dates Contents Box Folder

Accretion: 10770-83
Articles from Newspapers Dealing with Hurricane Agnes 1 1
1972 June 21 Miscellaneous Weather Data 1 2
1972 August 16 Stream Clearing and Debris Removal Projects Plans Number 1-6 1 3
1972 June Flood Emergency Travel Vouchers 1 4
News Releases - Flood Photos - Floor Control Coordinator Authorization - Cars 1 5
Susquehanna River - Agreements 1 6
Telephone Numbers 1 7
1971 March 2 District Director Meeting Resolutions 1 8
Flood Emergency Time Survey 1 9
Correspondence RA Cook - Miscellaneous Flood 1 10
Rich Testimony - Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Relief 1 11
1972 June 20-24 Weather Data 1 12
Stage Observation 1 13
Project Applications - Flood Plain Seminars - Flood Insurance - Open Burning 1 14
State Application List of Damages 1 15
Miscellaneous 1 16
Jack Firk - Correspondence - General Bureau of Water Management 1 17
Hurricane Agnes - Government Releases 1 18
Applicant List of Damages for Reimbursement Type Federal Assistance 1 19
Hurricane Agnes Damage Files 1 20
Title Location - Sign Out (See Attachment) 1 21
FPA Changes Personal 1 22
Hurricane Agnes - Phase - 111 1 23
Project Application for Federal Financial Assistance 1 24
Summit Drying Facility Problems 1 25
Hurricane Agnes - Federal Register Rules and Regulations 1 26
Damage Reports 2 1
Damage Survey Reports 2 2
Damage Survey Reports - New York State DEC Improvement DSK 2 3
All Counties - Category B, E-2 2 4
Chemung County - Category B, D - 2, E - 1 2 5
Oswego County - Castor Brook 2 6
Oswego - Cold Brook 2 7
Oswego County - East Branch Salmon Creek 2 8
Oswego County -Brimestone Creek 2 9
Oswego County - Mad River 2 10
Oswego County - Mill Stream 2 11
Oswego County - North Branch Salmon Creek 2 12
Oswego County - Orwell Creek 2 13
Oswego County - Prince Brook 2 14
Oswego County - Scrib and Farrington Brook 2 15
Oswego County - Stony Brooks 2 16
Oswego County - West Branch Fish Creek 2 17
Onondaga County - Butternut Creek 2 18
Onondaga County - Limestone Creek 2 19
Cayuga County - North Brook 2 20
Oneida County - North Mile Creek 2 21
Oneida County - Oriskany Creek 2 22
Oneida County - Waterville Creek 2 23
Livingston County - Springwater 2 24
Allegany County - Cryder Creek 2 25
Allegany County - Genesee River 2 26
Allegany County - Little Genesee Creek 2 27
Allegany County - Wiscoy Creek 2 28
Wyoming County - Cattaraugus Creek 2 29
Wyoming County - East Koy Creek 2 30
Wyoming County - Flynn Brook 2 31
Wyoming County - Wiscoy Creek 2 32
Schuyler County - Donovan Hill Road 2 33
Steuben County - Category B, C - 2, D-2, E-1, E-2, D-1 2 34
Chemung County - Catherine Creek 2 35
Broome County - Oquaga Creek 2 36
Tioga County - Owego Creek (E. Branch) 2 37
Steuben County - Keuka Inlet 2 38
Steuben County - Cohocton River 2 39
Steuben County - Neil Creek 2 40
Tioga County - Owego Creek ( E. Branch ) 2 41
Cattaraugus County - Beaver Meadow Creek 2 42
Little Conewango Creek (Catt) 2 43
Mansfield Creek (Catt) 2 44
Cattaurugus County - Clear Creek (Arcade) 2 45
Cattaraugus - Mc Kinstry Creek 2 46
Cattaraugus County - Elton Creek 2 47
Cattaraugus County - Lime Lake Outlet 2 48
Cattaraugus County - Cattaraugus Creek 2 49
Cattaraugus County - Clear Creek (Ellington) 2 50
Cattaraugus County - Ischud Creek 2 51
Chautauqua County - Chautaugua Creek 2 52
Chautauqua County - Clear Creek (Ellington) 2 53
Chautauqua County - Goose Creek 2 54
Ontario County - Grimes Creek 2 55
Ontario County - Waples Creek 2 56
Ontario County - Naples Creek 2 57
Ontario County - Grimes Creek 2 58
All Counties - Category B, E - 1 2 59
Allegany County Category - C-2 2 60
Livingston County Category C-2 2 61
Orleans County Category B 2 62
Ontario County Category C-2 2 63
Schuyler County Category C-20 2 64
Yates County Category C-2 2 65
Allegany County Category C-2 2 66
Stueben County Category B 2 67
Ontario County C-2 2 68
Schuyler County Category C2 2 69
Oneida County Sconondoa Creek 2 70
Cayuga County Fall Creek 2 71
Cayuga County Owasco Lake Inlet 2 72
Livingsstone County Lime Kiln Creek 2 73
Cayuga County Dresserville 2 74
Cayuga County Decker Brook 2 75
Schuyler County Catherine Creek 2 76
Schuyler County Cayuga Creek 2 77
Livingston County Cohocton River 2 78
Wyoming Count Clear Creek (Arcade) 2 79
Madison County Chittenango Creek 2 80
Madison County Oriskany Creek 2 81
Tomkins County Fall Creek 2 82
Tomkins County Salmon Creek 2 83
Tompkins County Cayuga Inlet 2 84