Wyoming County community getting help with flooding issues

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NICHOLSON, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Devastating floods have hit several communities in our region over the years.

One community in Wyoming County has endured significant damage but they could be getting some relief soon thanks to the federal government. Nicholson is on the right track in getting help to possibly prevent damaging floods from happening in the future.

“Oh I go look at it every day and say ‘oh how nice you look’,” Gawna Ellenberger of Nicholson said.

Right now, Martins Creek is indeed flowing at a comfortable level for residents who live in Nicholson. A year ago in August, it was a different story. Eight months before that in January 2018, the same creek flooded homes and businesses caused by an ice jam.

“When I get it, I get it good. I’ve had to take down my walls numerous amounts of times and clean my basement. I’ve lost a lot of stuff,” Ellenberger said.

Ellenberger has lived in the borough for more than three decades and survived the floods of 2006 and 2011. This week, the Natural Resources Conservation Service or NRCS, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced it will help Nicholson alleviate flooding.

“The NRCS’ focus right now is to gather information about the Martins Creek watershed and they are going to formulate various plans to alleviate our flooding,” Nicholson Mayor Charles Litwin, Jr. said.

Those plans will likely be made available to council members by the end of the month.

“Flood gates or you know, putting up concrete barriers along the banks. There’s basically every single option on the table,” Litwin, Jr. said.

Whatever decision is made, the project will come at little to no cost to taxpayers as the USDA is likely to pay for it.

“Anything that they can do to avert the water from our homes will help,” Ellenberger said.

Residents Eyewitness News spoke to say if the creek itself can get cleared from brush, debris, and so-called islands, they believe when there is high water, it will be able to flow better.

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