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Brookfield Energy Group blames weather for Pierrepont flooding

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PIERREPONT — Town residents who live near the flooding Raquette River blame the Brookfield Renewable Energy Group for their water woes, but the power company says the fault lies with the weather.

It has been nearly a week since the water began to rise, inundating roads, yards and basements closest to the river. The flooding is caused by ice blocking the Raquette’s flow.

Brookfield’s local supervisor, John B. Gamble, said the icy cold has made it difficult to keep the water flowing smoothly, but assured that Brookfield is trying its best to keep the river clear of restrictions.

“It’s sub-zero weather; we’ve got an excess of water, and we’re trying to get it down the river,” he said.

Riverside residents say the flooding has gotten worse in the last few years, and they blame Brookfield.

Steven W. Collins and his wife, Suellan J., have lived on T. Alexander Road for a decade, but it wasn’t until about three years ago that flooding became an annual problem.

“We’ve never had these problems before,” Mr. Collins said.

Like others, the Collinses believe Brookfield has become sloppy in how it manages the flow of water, although Mr. Collins said he didn’t want to hazard a guess as to what specifically is being done wrong.

Mr. Gamble, however, said there have been no changes in the power company’s operations.

“I believe it’s just the weather. I don’t think anything has changed,” he said, declining to comment further.

Mr. Collins said he does not know what needs to be done to remedy the situation, but for now he is resigned to it.

“I’d like to see the water lowered,” he said. “They’re blaming the weather, and we pretty much have to live with it now until the weather does break.”

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