GOWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Clean up continues Wednesday, for people living in Gowanda. Heavy rains created flash flooding that swamped streets and homes on Tuesday.
Gowanda resident John Worthylake’s home was flooded after Tuesday’s heavy rains. The water overflowed out of Thatcher Brook onto South Chapel Road. Worthylake says you had to see it to believe it.
Worthylake explained, “It was just the most amazing, as bad as it was there were logs maybe 20-feet-long rushing down the street, all kinds of debris.”
Worthylake lost his hot water heater, has no gas and mud covers his walkway. He thinks it will take weeks before things are back to normal.
Crews have been working since Tuesday morning trying to clear up any of the mud and debris. They’re trying to make sure the roads and drains are clear before the next rainfall.
Gowanda Police Officer and Incident Commander for the flood Steve Raiport said, “Our local DPW crews and State DOT they’re going around cleaning up the side roads. Cleaning debris mud off the roadways, cleaning out the drainage.”
Two hundred families were impacted by the mud and water and more than 30 homes were flooded. A lot of the damage was caused by Thatcher Brook overflowing.
The brook has caused problems in the past. It was responsible for a lot of damage from the last major flooding in the village in 2009.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the stream is prone to flooding. They plan to being a feasibility study this summer to address the flood risk management solutions.
Gowanda Mayor Heather McKeever says she doesn’t have final estimate, but this latest incident has cost the village hundreds of thousands of dollars.
McKeever said,”The initial estimates of the damage to our water reservoir up at Point Peter is probably going to cost about half-a-million dollars.”
McKeever says the village will remain under a state of emergency until the flood risks are gone.
Residents are still being asked to conserve water because the village is still on a back up system. McKeever says the reservoir will have to be drained, refilled and repaired.