BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The rain came down too fast and flooded area roadways overnight, leaving a mess in Wyoming County.
Officials in Bennington say it could take months to repair a Getman Road, part of which had been washed away by Friday morning, leaving a 15-foot gap around five feet deep. An area resident says it was a dirt road until last year when it was paved. The included Report It photo from Jill Schmidt shows the damage to the road.
“The sound was unbelievable,” said one resident who heard the road crumble sometime after 10:30 Thursday night where a small stream runs under Getman Road.
“Through the years, the culvert has been replaced a couple times, but for some reason, instead of making the culvert larger to accommodate a large capacity of water, they downsized it not once, but a second time.” said Getman Road resident Sue Weber. “So I knew down the road, it was gonna affect us, and yesterday it did, because the water had no place to go.”
Bennington Town Supervisor Ellen Grant thinks this would’ve happened regardless, because fallen trees were clogging the culverts.”The culverts were only downsized a couple of inches. They sleeved the existing culverts that were in there. They’re estimating this was like a fifty year rainfall.”
Huge pieces of the culvert ended up downstream, a gas line running down the length of the road broke. This road was newly paved just last year
“All you can do is get out of the way.” said Bennington resident Joe Mohalski.”Let’s you know who’s boss.”
A resident told News 4 the culvert couldn’t take the water flow and it eventually gave way. She said at one point she heard a loud “boom,” either from the gas line rupturing or the road breaking. The gas line was broken, and gas could be smelled in the air in the area.
The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office says there was some concern over evacuations in the area overnight, but they ended up being unnecessary.
Pine Valley Central School in the Cattaraugus County Town of South Dayton was also affected by the flooding. Buses were not able to pick up students because of flooded roads and closures, so parents were encouraged to drop students off at school, if possible.
Thursday night’s rain swamped roads and overflowed creeks in places like Darien, and several roads around Genesee County closed for periods of time as a result. The water saturated fields, leaving them to appear as pools. Overnight as the rain fell, roadways looked like streams with water passing by.
On Route 20 there was ponding and emergency crews were out monitoring the conditions. There were flashing lights on some roads in Genesee County, to remind drivers to drive cautiously.