Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Fred Stabbert III

GLENN HERMANN OF the Sullivan County DPW operates a Gradall Friday morning in a small stream in Kohlertown. Hermann loaded truck after truck with streambed gravel, which had filled in the stream during the Apr. 2 flood.

Muddying the Waters
– For Good Cause

By Fred Stabbert III
SULLIVAN COUNTY — May 17, 2005 – Trucks from the Sullivan County DPW made a continuous loop between Jeffersonville and Callicoon on Friday, taking streambed gravel from a small stream behind the Jeff Car Wash and depositing it in Callicoon.
“You have to do it,” DPW Road Maintenance Supervisor Brian Worzel said. “You see how much the water is restricted.”
An inspection under the County Route 164 bridge in Kohlertown revealed the bridge’s concrete sluice is almost entirely filled with streambed gravel, with only about a foot of space left for water to run.
On April 2, the bridge’s sluice clogged, sending water down the road into Route 52.
Although the workers cannot reach under the bridges with their machinery, they have permission from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to clean out 100 feet of streambed on either side of their county bridges. By cleaning out the bridges’ inlets and outlets, Worzel said he is hoping water from the next flood will have somewhere to deposit the extra gravel.
“Since the floods of April 2, we’ve been working in Claryville, Woodridge and Rock Hill,” Worzel said. “This afternoon we are going to Lew Beach to work on the Shin Creek bridge.”
Henry Yeung, whose new home is only 50 feet from the small stream, said, “We flooded three times last year. You can see down there how much sand was left after the water went down.”
With his backyard full of sand, Yeung was hoping to get some of the dirt that was being dredged up from the creek.
“It’s too full of gravel,” Worzel said.
Pat Welsh, who owns the car wash, asked Worzel if the eroded berm behind his business could be fortified with boulders.
“One more flood and I’m afraid the berm will be gone,” Welsh said. “Every time, more and more of the bank is taken away. And although this is a good job today, they are also taking away part of the berm.”
Worzel pointed Welsh in the direction of the county DPW office for assistance.
“I’ll give ‘em a call,” Welsh promised.
Across the hill in Hortonville, on Beechwoods Road, Town of Delaware highway crews were busy putting large stones in the ditches so that future flooding would not undercut the road as water ran off the mountain.
And on Maplewood Road in Monticello, a local contractor was busy putting in a new bridge, replacing one damaged during April’s floods.
Recovering from the floods will continue for months across the county.

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