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I-Team: Clogged culvert concerns neighbors in Cheektowaga

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 18:15:46-04

Even when it rains a little bit it fills up overflows and floods the entire area, said Cheektowaga town resident, Joe Parker. Parker's property on Tillotson Avenue floods often, including several weeks back when Western New York experienced heavy rainfall. “We were home, thank god, and we had six pumps to keep up with the water. We had about three feet of water in the backyard.”

According to town officials, the water is run off from the neighborhood and the Target parking lot on Walden Avenue. And the culvert's supposed to channel it into Scajaquada Creek.

Part of the problem is the rocks and weeds that clog the culvert. The same day the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team contacted the town about this story, town highway crews were out trimming the weeds at the culvert. But town officials insist that was coincidental and say they do trim the area monthly. “It just happened that today you called us and we were here today. This week was schedule,” said town highway superintendent, Mark Wegner.

The town also said it will now be more diligent with culvert maintenance, moving forward. “Really, one of the only things we can do is make sure we keep the grate here clear so the water will freely flow through the system,” said town engineer, Pat Bowen.

The town admits the culvert is designed poorly. But, it's located within a 100 year floodplain meaning it's more prone to flooding. “When you get high intensity rainfalls in a short amount of time, you're going to have some flooding occur,” Bowen added. 

Some is one thing. But Parker said it happens more often than not. That's why he'd like to see the whole area cleared out and replaced with a concrete liner. “It's going to get fixed one way or another. I don't how or by who but something’s got to get done,” he concluded.