TOWN OF EVANS, N.Y. (WIVB) — At the base of a six-foot stake off Old Lake Shore Road, buried under now feet of dark, murky water is a collapsed pipe that residents believe is the reason their yards continue to flood ever time a hard rain blows through their town.
The waters rose quickly as the rains fell Thursday in areas of Angola — areas that are no stranger to flooding.
It’s a problem both county and town leaders, as well as residents who call these properties home, acknowledge has existed for years.
But there’s no money currently set aside to actually fix it.
In some cases, yesterday’s situation is the perfect storm of heavy rains, poor drainage and low-lying areas.
But one thing is for certain: Frustrations rise as the skies open up, and yards give way to muddy ponds.
“I can’t say on TV,” said Lisa Naab, when asked about her reaction to the latest flooding. “Honestly, it’s been like this everything except for four weeks since November.”
In less than 24 hours, the waters have receded slightly.
Neighbors David Eastman and Lisa Naab say a broken pipe prevents drainage.
Old Lake Shore Road is a county road, meaning they’re responsible. But steps must be taken before shovels hit the earth.
“I think we’re taking a positive step here,” said Erie County Director of Engineering Charles Sickler. “This has kind of been decades long issues down there. It’s been going on a long time. There’s some question about whether it’s because of the drainage issue there.”
Fifteen thousand dollars has already been earmarked, and a contractor has been chosen to study the drainage system. They’ll snake a camera through the system to identify collapses or other problems.
Beyond that, additional money would need to be set aside for the actual work. Erie County will take a wait-and-see approach.
“There will be problems, even after,” Sickler said. “If we had a perfect system there, there’s inherent problems with the topography there, the low lying land, the sand dunes there.”
Town of Evans Supervisor Keith Dash said the county must take the lead on the project. And when asked about whether the town had adequate funding, Dash said it would be a close call.
“This is not an option to walk away from,” Dash said. “The county has to take the lead.”
It’ll be at least another month before residents can get the answers they’ve been waiting for for years. And even then, it may not completely alleviate the problem. So residents are left to wait on the weather.