County officials acknowledge more flooding problems on roadways after big rains

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2023 at 10:15 am

ALBION – Ken Schleede, a resident of Yates-Carlton Townline Road, said the road is seeing more severe flooding, concerning many local residents.

He said the changes started about a dozen years ago. He presented photos of his submerged road from a recent rainfall to the Orleans County Legislature last week.

Last year in February a sinkhole forced the county to close a section of the road between Ashwood and Alps roads. The county then had to rebuild that part of the road.

The road continues to get flooding this year after many rain events.

“We definitely have an issue there,” Schleede told county legislators last week.

John Papponetti, the county DPW commissioner, agreed there is a flooding problem on Townline Road. He said it happens in other parts of the county as well.

The DPW has been working with landowners and the Soil & Water Conservation District to try to deal with the water, and keep it off roadways.

“It’s a problem we have across the county,” Papponetti responded. “We just can’t stay on top of it.”

Papponetti said an increase in farmers tiling their fields, which directs water to ditches, may be resulting in more water in ditches and spilling over onto roadways.

“It’s sending more water to our system,” he said.

When it rains 2 to 3 inches in a storm, the result can be a flooded road.

“That’s more than our drainage system can handle,” he said.

Papponetti said he would meet with Schleede to look at Townline Road again, and see if the system can be improved.