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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