Flooding takes toll in Wheatfield development


WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) – Niagara County took a pounding from Mother Nature Wednesday, with three inches of rain beating down in a matter of hours.

The unyielding thunderstorms had local fire companies dispatched to homes with flooded basements. For many of the residents of the Eaglechase Development in Wheatfield, this is a recurring nightmare.

PHOTO GALLERY | Click here to see the hail and rain that fell across Niagara County on Wednesday

“There’s nothing to hold it back and it’s just overflowing,” said homeowner Ken Hitzges, as he looked across his flooded backyard.

The retention pond is also overflowing in this low-lying development. The culvert that was widened by the town still can’t drain the water fast enough.

Basements have been flooded three of the last five years. Mary Poole said her basement flooded in just 15 minutes.

“I don’t know where to point the finger,” she said in frustration. “The builder says it’s the town. The town says it’s the builder.”

Wheatfield Town Supervisor Bob Cliffe says he understands their frustration.

“I wouldn’t want to live here under that mess either,” he said.

It’s a mess that he says will be revisited by the town. He said town engineers will go “back to the drawing board and see if there’s another step we can take.”

But homeowner Hitzges, whose property has sustained tens of thousands of dollars in damages, is running out of patience.

“I’m asking for some help,” he said. “I mean, I spent all this money on this nice house to live in this nice development and I can’t even enjoy it.”

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