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Cheektowaga business owners frustrated over flooding

Posted at 6:34 PM, Oct 18, 2021

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — On Harlem Road in Cheektowaga, offices are flooded during storms and warehouses have feet of water inside, according to some business owners.

“Anytime we get a downpour of more than 15 to 20 minutes, it's guaranteed to flood the parking lot. If it's more than that, it's going to come into the building,” says Larry Lisowski, of Essa Logistics.

“It backs up starting on the street. Then it comes all the way up the loading dock, and into the building,” says Jon Weiss, of New Buffalo Shirt Factory.

Business owners tell us nearly every time it downpours, ditches nearby overflow, sending water into their buildings. They say as the problem persists, they're not getting any help from the town or the Department of Transportation.

“My partners have gone to the Town of Cheektowaga. Engineers have been out here. We've heard every excuse we can get. That it's an engineering problem. That it's not on your property. Actually, I heard that Harlem Road is a state road, but I'm a businessman in Cheektowaga. I pay my taxes in Cheektowaga. I expect Cheektowaga to do this,” says Weiss.

The Cheektowaga town supervisor told 7ABC to reach out to the town’s engineers and the state DOT.

A spokesperson for the NYSDOT issued this statement:

The Department of Transportation received a complaint about a drainage issue on Harlem Road earlier this year. A crew responded by cleaning out the enclosed drainage system, resulting in a better flow of water. Since our response, we have monitored the area and have received no further complaints on the matter. If flooding is still occurring, we are happy to further address this location with an appropriate solution if warranted.

An engineer for Cheektowaga says they are monitoring the situation and evaluating what to do next.

One business says the town has tried to mitigate the flooding problem in the past.

“They did clear the ditch going to Harlem Road, which alleviated it for a while. Now, for the last year or so, it's been getting tremendously worse,” says Lisowski.

More flooding occurred again Friday night. Businesses say every time it happens, they lose thousands of dollars and days of work.

“There was thousands of dollars worth of damage to our product, not inclusive of the damage that was done to the building, the flooring, the offices, everything,” says Weiss.