West Seneca prepares to bolster berm


WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Concerns about floodwaters in West Seneca are rising and a big project to protect residents who were devastated by flash flooding earlier this winter is about to get underway.

Though it barely rose above 10 degrees on Monday, trucks and labor donated by Union Concrete and Ed Bauer Construction changed the look behind homes along Lexington Green. A more than quarter-mile road was built to Buffalo Creek so that crews can access the berm.

On Wednesday, the same crews will fill some 3,000 three-foot square bags brought to WNY by a Missouri company with sand to form a connecting three-foot sand barrier that will continue the existing berm in the hopes of preventing floodwaters from hitting the same West Seneca neighborhood for a third time during the next thaw.

Residents are cautiously optimistic.

Audrey Petri, who lives on Gregory Drive, said, “I call [West Seneca town Supervisor] Sheila Meegan always to complain, but today I called to tell her I thought she was doing a good job. So we’ll see what happens.”

“I’m glad that they’re finally doing something. I was hoping, especially further upstream, they would use a combination of jersey barriers and sandbags, because the force of that ice,” added Michael Machnica, who lives on Lexington Green.

But Dave Hancock of Big Bags USA is confident the enormous sandbags will do the job.

“It works perfectly. We’ve used it on the Mississippi, the Missouri, a lot of different locations,” he said.

Because the use of the equipment and labor needed to bolster the berm has been donated, Supervisor Meegan says the whole cost of the project should be about $50,000, with most of the cost coming from purchasing the sand and the bags.

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