Severe Weather Team 6 Stories
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Ridgway officials already planning to prevent next flood
Updated: Wednesday, May 21 2014, 06:45 PM EDT
Reported By: Deven Clarke
Written By: Marc Stempka
RIDGWAY, Pa. -- Emergency officials in Elk County are already talking about plants to avoid another disastrous flood from hitting the area.
Leaders in Ridgway, one of the hardest hit communities of Wednesday's high water, said the flooding will go town as one of the worst in the town's history.
Hours of heavy rain led to 4 to 5 inches being dumped in the area and causing the Clarion River and Elk Creek to overflow their banks.
Flood stage for the Clarion River at Ridgway is 16 feet, officials said. Wednesday's flooding topped at least 20 feet.
Ridgway Borough Manager Tim Zimmerman said because Ridgway sits so close to the river, flooding like this could happen again and that's why they must continue to plan for anything that may happen like this again.
Zimmerman said he would like to see a flood control program implemented, which could include dams, drudges and levies.
"Just to get a study done, to have somebody come in and say this is what I think we need to do, the borough could be responsible for $200,000 or more of that study," Zimmerman said. "Just for them to come I here and that's because we pay 50 percent of it. So I did talk to them today and they said when the water goes down and we have some sort of water damage, please give them a call and they'll come up here."
Zimmerman said getting a flood control program isn't quite so easy, but there are grants available that the borough can apply for to help cover some of the costs.