JOINT STATEMENT: Unified Incident Command and Salmon River Central School District Working Cooperatively to Safely Reopen St. Regis Mohawk School

The Unified Incident Command and the Salmon River School District are working together for the safe return of student and staff to the St. Regis Mohawk School following flooding along the St. Regis River.

Published March 1, 2018

AKWESASNE, NEW YORK — The Unified Incident Command and the Salmon River Central School District issued the following statement today in response to St. Regis Mohawk School’s closure this week due to flooding along the St. Regis River. The Salmon River School District and the Unified Command; comprised of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Emergency Planning Office, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department and the Hogansburg-Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department; are working in cooperation to ensure the safe return of students to the facility in a timely manner.

“The Unified Incident Command is continuing to instruct residents, businesses and other facilities along the St. Regis River to remain vigilant and alert due to water levels and ice conditions being unpredictable,” stated A/Emergency Planning Coordinator Derek Comins. He added, “With the assistance of the Tribal Police Department, we are still monitoring two ice packs located upstream of Hogansburg and encourage local residents and others to remain cautious, as events are still developing.”

In addition to the ice jam that continues to impact Hogansburg since Thursday, February 22, 2018; the Unified Incident Command is monitoring an ice pack located along Maple Ridge Road in the Town of Helena. They were also monitoring an ice pack in vicinity of McNeil Road, which dislodged around 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 and moved downstream, resulting in water levels to rise slightly. The ice jam is now located across the street from the St. Regis Mohawk School.

The rise in water level yesterday evening occurred following an announcement that the St. Regis Mohawk School was going to reopen today, Wednesday, February 28, 2018. Information on the new development was shared with Salmon River School Administrators from the Unified Incident Command, who made the cautious decision to keep the St. Regis Mohawk School closed for the week.

“The Salmon River Central School District takes immense responsibility in making the best decisions for the safety of our students, staff and communities,” said Salmon River Central School Superintendent Dr. Stanley Harper. He added, “When responding to a major incident like flooding, exercising the utmost caution is the right approach. We appreciate the Unified Incident Command keeping us notified of ongoing developments to ensure we all work cooperatively to keep our students and staff safe.”

On Friday, March 2, 2018, representatives from the Unified Incident Command and the Salmon River Central School will meet to make an assessment on St. Regis Mohawk School for the coming week.

The Unified Incident Command is reminding individuals that the State of Emergency issued by the Tribal Council at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2018 remains in effect until the declaration is rescinded. They are instructing residents along the St. Regis River to remain vigilant and cautious for changing river conditions.

For more information or instruction, please listen to 97.3fm CKON, follow the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Facebook page and website, watch Akwesasne Tw, follow #akwesasneflood on social media, as well as the Salmon River Central School’s website at www.srk12.org and their Facebook page.

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