Bristol to study Lake George flooding

A study of the Lake George flood plain and offering possible solutions to flooding there was approved by the Bristol Village Board Monday.

The study will cost an estimated $17,600 and be performed by Strand Associates, the village’s engineers. It was unanimously approved by the board.

The Lake George area has a history of flooding, but that was more on display than ever after record rains in July. About 10 residents attended the July 24 Village Board meeting to voice concerns and ask questions of village officials. Residents on the east side of the neighborhood told the board about water in their homes and their yards, some of which appeared to be contaminated with sewage.

The purpose of the study would be to figure out how water flows in the neighborhood and offer solutions “if they exist,” said village engineer Ben Wood.

“There might not be a solution to help them on a 7- or 8-inch rain event, but we might be able to help them deal with a 3- or 4-inch rainfall.”

Said village administrator Randy Kerkman: “I think it’s a good idea to see if there is an engineering solution to this.”

The area is challenging, Wood said. Much of the neighborhood lies under the level of Lake George and there are wetlands to the east.

“It’s in a flood zone; it’s going to flood,” Wood said.

Possible solutions might be a dike that would pool water in a given area that could then be pumped out gradually or repairing existing drain tile, Wood said.

One issue that might continue despite what the study suggests would be beaver dams obstructing drainage on the Dutch Gap Canal, which the area is supposed to drain into. The village has tried in vain to keep the gap free of dams, Kerkman said, but the animals keep building them back.

“Those beaver dams are what is holding back the water in the Dutch Gap,” Kerkman said.

Beavers could be trapped and removed from the gap, Kerkman said, but that would be difficult for the village to do because much of the gap is private property.

Trustee John McCabe said he knows someone the village might be able to hire to trap beaver in the area of the gap. Trustee Carolyn Owens said she would only be in favor of that if the beaver were relocated. McCabe said it’s unlikely anyone would want to take live beavers onto their property.

The Strand study would assume beavers will continue to be present, Wood said.


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