Olive Engineering Consultant Talks Flooding and Requests Resident Assistance

Posted on: July 15th, 2015 by Brent Gotsch

On July 14, the Town of Olive Flood Advi­sory Com­mit­tee (FAC) held a  meet­ing with town res­i­dents and Woidt Engi­neer­ing and Con­sult­ing to review ini­tial find­ings for the Local Flood Analy­sis (LFA)  in the ham­lets of Boiceville and West Shokan. George Fowler, an engi­neer with Woidt and the project lead for the LFAs, described what he and his team have dis­cov­ered. Woidt Engi­neer­ing and the Olive FAC will work together over the next few months to ana­lyze the pos­si­ble mit­i­ga­tion options for the ham­lets. Once these options are iden­ti­fied they will be run through the Benefit-Cost Analy­sis (BCA) process to deter­mine eli­gi­bil­ity for mul­ti­ple fund­ing sources. You can help with this process by fill­ing out a ques­tion­naire to report dam­ages to your home or busi­ness. This infor­ma­tion will used dur­ing the BCA process. The more infor­ma­tion we receive the bet­ter! It will be used to develop the most accu­rate results pos­si­ble. The form can be down­loaded here or picked up at the Olive Town Hall.

Not sur­pris­ingly, inun­da­tion of the busi­ness dis­trict in Boiceville is a major con­cern. George and his team showed how the high and tight val­ley wall forces the Eso­pus Creek to flood areas in that dis­trict dur­ing high flows. More analy­sis is needed but ini­tial find­ings show  there may be poten­tial to recon­nect the stream with its flood­plain just upstream of the Five Arch Bridge. Build­ing a flood­plain here may help keep water out of the busi­ness dis­trict or lessen the amount of water there. That project would likely require relo­cat­ing the fire depart­ment build­ing and other struc­tures in order to make room for water storage.

In West Shokan, the major prob­lems are asso­ci­ated with debris jams and sed­i­ment buildup. One of the major con­cerns for res­i­dents and Town offi­cials is the gravel bar just upstream of the Bushkill Bridge. The con­cern is that if the gravel bar grows it could cause an obstruc­tion that dam­ages or destroys the Bridge, cut­ting res­i­dents off from emer­gency ser­vices. George explained that we are liv­ing with the legacy of his­tor­i­cal human man­age­ment of the stream, namely the defor­esta­tion of the land­scape that occurred in the 19th Cen­tury that caused large pulses of sed­i­ment to enter the stream cor­ri­dors, and more recently dredg­ing and berming of mate­r­ial on stream banks that cre­ates unsta­ble stream cor­ri­dors. As with Boiceville, more analy­sis is needed, but one idea to explore is restor­ing appro­pri­ate stream chan­nel dimen­sions to help move sed­i­ment and debris through that area with­out undue buildup.

 

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