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Floodwaters spare Gowanda over weekend

GOWANDA — With the ample rainfall that occurred all across Western New York over the weekend, local municipalities had to be concerned about the possibility of flooding. One municipality that has had their issues with flooding in the past is the village of Gowanda, but over the weekend, Gowanda Mayor Dave Smith said that crisis was averted narrowly.

“We were about two inches away from Thatcher Brook going over,” Smith said. “There were about 30 of us down by the South Chapel Street Bridge praying out loud that it wouldn’t go over, and it didn’t.”

Gowanda was hit with major floods in 2009 and 2014, and one of Smith’s priorities for the village is working on the Thatcher Brook Flood Diversion Plan, which is in the stages of beginning. On Monday, Smith said there was a conference call to determine the state of the Primary Parties Agreement so the project can begin. While it wasn’t signed on Monday, Smith said it is expected to be signed in the near future. The projected is expected to be completed within 24 months.

“This conference call to firm up the PPA could not come at a better time,” Smith said. “Today’s call will be the final hurdle.”

Smith wanted to issue special thanks to Dan Ackley and the Town of Persia for keeping the trash rack clean up stream, which Smith said catches a lot of the bigger logs and things coming down to prevent them from clogging up the smaller water pathways in Thatcher Brook. Smith also thanked Village officials for keeping things clear on their end of the stream.

“The preventative maintenance done in Thatcher Brook in dredging and keeping trees away from the bank is done regularly,” Smith said. “I believe all of that work gave us the two inches we needed.”

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