Flash Flooding: Watkins Glen Recovers

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Watkins Glen, N.Y. (WETM) – Last night, severe thunderstorms roared through the Southern Tier bringing plenty of lightning, gusty winds, and torrential rain. Lately, flash flooding has been a big issue here in the Twin Tiers and Watkins Glen experienced this firsthand as floodwaters filled the town. Over half of July’s normal monthly rainfall fell in Watkins Glen yesterday which resulted in the flooding. The Mayor of Watkins Glen, Luke Leszyk, says it was like a monsoon as two and a half inches of rain fell in an hour.

Debris clogged storm drains up a hill and resulted in floodwater surging down the hillside into town. Floodwater surged into the streets and also washed out driveways. Mark, the owner of Captain Bills, says this is the most water I have seen down at this end of town in my 35 years of being here. Due to the streets being flooded, the Watkins Glen Police Department had to give a warning to stay away from flooded roadways.

Damage from the flash flooding was thankfully minimal. Mark says there was just some mud on the ground and debris but it was easily cleaned up. The buildings weren’t damaged, the boats weren’t damaged, so they are in good shape. Assistance came from all departments to help clean the mud up, repair the driveways, and clean out the storm drains.

“Everybody helped out and pitched in and got drainage opened up, got the streets opened up, and now we are in the process of cleaning up. So, we will have it cleaned up in a short amount of time.”

Thankfully, the floodwaters went down as quickly as they rose and the cleanup has been successful so far. Roads have since been cleared and the washed-out driveways have been repaired, so residents of Watkins Glen and tourists are happy to see things quickly returning to normal after severe weather impacted the region.

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