Sewer system takes major hit from Irene

The flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene damaged more than private property as public property from roads to sewer systems were impacted by the deluge.

Town supervisor Matt Hicks said Cove Road was destroyed by flood waters from Tropical Storm Irene, but its repair was well down the list of priorities for the town. Although the bridge on Cove Road is in good shape, Hicks said, nearly 100 yards of roadway leading up to the span were washed out or underscored by the rushing waters that also rendered a nearby home uninhabitable.

Hicks said he has been to the site and met to discuss the matter with Highway Superintendent John Tanner, and any decision on the fate of the road is far in the future.

“It’s just not a necessity right now,” Hicks said.

The town had some other road damage, but it was mainly roadside washout damage and had already been repaired, Hicks said.

During a multi-million dollar water treatment project in the village and shortly after the completion of a million-dollar plus sewer treatment phased project completion Tropical Storm Irene came calling with six inches of rain and widespread flooding higher than even the oldest residents could recall.

Village officials said after the storm waters receded, the Village of Granville was left with a mixed bag of results.

Some infrastructure, the village’s fresh water system, was largely unaffected; once the flood waters went down the village fell under a precautionary boil water order for most of the next three days. The boil water notice was finally lifted the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 31.

For the sewer system, however, the impact was substantial.

While the water system repairs are virtually non existent, work could continue on the sewer system for many months, Public Works Superintendent Dan Williams said.

“We lost a lot of our sewer pumps,” Williams said.

The pumps that push waste materials through the system to eventually end up in the waste water treatment plant were submerged underwater and damaged. Part of the problem results from the supply of pumps, Williams said.

Most municipalities use this kind of pump and like Granville have an immense need after having flooding issues of their own.

Those who rebuild the pumps are likewise inundated with work following flooding that caused massive damage throughout New York and Vermont.

Williams said the treatment plant has other damage as well after seeing what is estimated to be somewhere over three times the plant’s 2.5 million gallon capacity during the storm. The plant did not receive damage from being submerged in flood waters, but rather from the immense volume of water being forced into the sewer system by the storm.

Damage in the village, outside of the sewer system, is limited primarily to the area of the Slate Valley Museum, where damage was done to the interior of the museum as well as substantial damage to the grounds.

Some repair work will also have to be done in the area under either side of the pedestrian walkway before it can reopen although the bridge itself was not damaged.

No village streets were damaged by the flooding despite Factory Street and Rathbun Avenue being under water at the flooding high point.

The Rail Trail Bridge suffered damage which had not been spotted initially, village officials said Tuesday. The footings to the bridge’s south side were scoured by the flood waters eroding some of the support along that side of the bridge. Although it appeared the bridge’s strength was not compromised by the erosion, it remained unclear if the bridge would be closed until repairs were made. 

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