Woman injured by falling tree during flooding

GOWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – A couple usually worries about rain on their wedding day, not the months leading before.

“I thought it was stressful before this happened, so this kind of adds a whole new layer to it,” said Whitney Nephew.

PHOTOS | These incredible images capture the massive amounts of mud and water that rushed into areas of WNY on Tuesday

It’s always been Nephew’s dream to get married in the garden of her family home.

“My mom’s garden, it just is what I’ve always kind of imagined. Having something here, in the village, close to home, it would just be perfect,” said Nephew.

“If it’s important for her, than it’s important for me,” said Nephew’s fiance, Jordan Garrow.

RELATED | More on the damage caused by flash flooding in Gowanda

The two started dating during the flood of 2009. Five years later, they’re cleaning up together again, just two months before their wedding.

“Things kind of come full circle and it’s just ironic that here we are, yet again, shoveling mud,” said Nephew.

“As bad as it is, and even if it’s not 100 percent again, we’re still going to get married here. So there’s nothing going to stop us from that,” said Garrow.

If nothing else, the clean-up is a great pre-wedding workout.

“We’ll be in great shape for the wedding. We will be, I don’t know about the garden, but we will be,” said Nephew.

Nancy Hancock was pulling weeds when a huge tree came crashing down.

“She could have been killed,” said Beth Pfleuger of her mother.

“The tree came down and caught me between the house and the car,” said Hancock.

After a quick trip to the hospital, she left with just bruises and a bright outlook, thankful to be alive.

“I was scared. I was scared. I thought I was going to be badly hurt,” said Hancock.

Village officials brought in an excavator to remove the debris from Thatcher Brook, but after removing a few logs it got stuck.

Residents say they’ve been asking for the past month to have the large log removed, but say the DEC didn’t want them disrupting the fish.

“I don’t think fish are that important compared to a human life. It blocked all that debris that came down and so it made an alternative route because this shouldn’t have happened,” said Pfleuger.

“We actually have to work with the DEC and there has to be different permits and it’s somewhat of a time consuming process. Right now with us being in a state of emergency with more pending more bad weather this was something we were able to work through fast,” said Gonawanda Mayor Heather McKeever.

Garbage will be picked up in the affected areas at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

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