Work will begin soon on fixing the flooding issues in the Big Creek watershed.
Jo-Anne Humphreys with Trout Unlimited outlined the problems and the solutions at last week’s Waterville Village Board meeting. Village DPW Superintendent Jamie Bechy has been instrumental in bringing attention to the flooding and working to find answers.
Humphreys explained the flow of Big Creek and its tributaries, along with what is causing flooding and significant bank erosion. Channels that are too narrow or too wide can cause sediment buildup, which causes problems in the water and along the banks.
Big Creek Tributary A flows near Memorial Park School, under the roadway toward Schoolhouse Apartments, where a sinkhole was created two years ago this month from the 2019 Halloween flood. Humphreys call that tributary a big problem.
“We can’t help downstream people until we address the upstream instability,’’ Humphreys said.
The project, which will be in stages, needs final designs and funding sources. However, the first phase has been decided.
Flooding this summer along the creek as it flows behind Sanger Avenue, washed away feet of backyards, making that area a priority, Humphreys said.
The answer will be to reroute the creek away from the Sanger Avenue banks into the flood plain of village-owned land. This will create a new stream route, Humphreys said, and reduce the bank failure.
The new channel would start behind the home owned by the Coles and route onto village property. The Village’s portion of the cost can be paid through in-kind services provided by the DPW.
Various permits also need to be acquired for the work. Most of what has to be done is earth moving and creating new channels, she said.
Bechy said he was excited about the plans and they should…