Flood zone: Local woman looks to find solution to West Canada Creek flooding


NEWPORT, N.Y. (WKTV) - Flooding was the topic of conversation during informational meeting held at the Newport fire hall on Thursday evening. The focus, finding a solution after decades of flooding specifically near the West Canada Creek.

After the fourth highest water level flood destroyed belongings in Christy Newman's home, she decided to jump into action. Newman has lived in Newport for a year and a half. She moved to the Mohawk Valley after years of living in Connecticut. Her parents grew up in the area, and Newman had visited throughout her childhood, always with the dream that someday, she'd make it her permanent living situation.

She purchased her dream home from her cousins, who had told her about previous flooding, but expressed it was termed, 'the hundred year flood,' and was said to never happen again. Christy says, she believed it until last week. 

"We lost our furnace, our hot water heater, our hot water furnace in the garage and a freezer full of food," Newman said about last weeks flood.

Thankfully, she had flood insurance, but others who have lived on the creek for even longer than Christy, haven't been as lucky, including Shawn Shultz.

Shultz' family moved onto the creek in 2001 for its beautiful location. They did research before purchasing the property and at that time there was no history of flooding. They purchased the home without flood insurance.

In 2006, their home was devastated after a flood ravaged their basement. At that point, they had flood insurance, but it didn't cover much.

The family cleaned up, moved on and were flood free until 2011, when another severe flood destroyed their basement.

After years of cleanup and a loss of thousands of dollars, Schultz says she's had enough, "We've lost a lot of our property because the river," Schultz said. "And it's to the point we are losing work. We have rain now and were just like what is going to happen?"

The flooding last week was the fourth highest water level flood in the West Canada Creek's one century of existence. The highest water level flood occurred in 2011, something that leads Assemblymen Marc Butler to believe, the area has a real problem.

"I think the problems going to get worse," Butler said. "I think were going to see more flooding in spring and low water levels in summer if these issues are not addressed now and immediately."

Butler believes the high water levels and increased flooding is due to the removal of the gray reservoir years ago. Since the removal, Butler says, 37 percent of high water flow out of the Hinkley Dam has occurred.

"At the time it was a mistake," Butler said. "We were concerned about down stream flooding and our predictions have come true."

The dam was demolished previously because it was said to be hazardous and unrepairable.


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