Gowanda begins flood cleanup

GOWANDA – After heavy rainfall on Tuesday, the village of Gowanda is left to clean up the mess. The cleanup is all too familiar for the village as residents were cleaning up less than five years ago from a flood. Fortunately, the mess this time is much less severe.

On Wednesday, much of the village was cleaning up mud and dirt left over from the flash flooding that swept through parts of the village. Gowanda Police Media Information Officer Rich Cooper said the village is taking on the “mundane task of cleaning up.” Both the village’s highway and fire departments have been working on cleaning off the streets and washing them down. Disaster Coordinator Nick Crassi said the village has started debris removal.

“We’ve moved trash trucks in and started picking up trash,” he said.

With more severe weather anticipated for later this week, Cooper said the village has contingency plans in place. The plans involve both Erie and Cattaraugus county emergency services. Thatcher Brook is mostly cleared of debris, said Crassi. The village will continue to monitor creek levels as the week progresses.

For those residents who are worried about potential flooding again, sand bags will be available at the Gowanda Fire Hall. Residents can pick up and fill bags at the fire hall on Aldrich Street which are now available. Residents in the village are reminded to still conserve water and the village is still under a state of emergency.

Tuesday’s flood will be documented and sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who have been studying flooding and the creeks in Gowanda for several years. The Thatcher Brook Task Force was formed following the 2009 flood and is a collaborative with the village, several surrounding communities and the Army Corps.

Comments on this article may be sent to smcdonnell@observertoday.com