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GOWANDA An unveiling for prevention

The OBSERVER’s View

Gowanda residents will forever be haunted by a destructive flooding incident that took place in August 2009. On that unforgettable Sunday evening, the region was pelted with 6 inches of heavy rains. Within hours, many woke up Monday morning to unthinkable losses — and one person died.

Current Mayor David Smith remembers. “In the course of four hours, I watched businesses wash away and never return,” he said. “I watched a hospital wash away and never return. I watched lives lost. Moreso, I watched the literal spirit of the community wash away with the receding flood waters.”

On Thursday evening, Smith will be on hand at the Historic Hollywood Theater when a $6.7 million mitigation project will be presented to the public as the village will showcase the work that’ll be done to Thatcher Brook to diverge excess waterflow into a new channel. Those channels will connect to Cattaraugus Creek. The creek has enough depth to absorb more water and not flood, the mayor said.

This project is an important step and significant investment in the village. The event begins at 6 p.m.

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