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City Of Olean moves forward to help control area flooding

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Buffalo: City Of Olean moves forward to help control area flooding
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The City of Olean is a step closer Wednesday to prevent flooding in neighborhoods near its waste water treatment plant. YNN's Mark Goshgarian tells us how a new well may be the solution city officials, and homeowners are hoping for.

OLEAN, N.Y. — It happened in the Spring of 2011.

"There was two foot of water in my basement, all the way through, within two hours that happened," said John Kemp.

Steady, heavy rain left his yard underwater.

"It was all, just, just one big pond there, the end of the week, we got flooded again, so it was pretty bad," said Kemp.

Kemp has lived in Olean thirty two years.

"It's very discouraging because we spent a lot of time out here pumping water, and then we had to go into the basement and clean that all up, and we had to throw stuff away that was ruined from all the water, it was a mess," said Kemp.

To help Kemp and others, the city recently hired a Buffalo company to control the flooding.

"So this has been a long time, standing issue, we're all in this together, we're all going to have to pay for it, we just have to do it in the most efficient and fiscally responsible way we can," said Linda Witte, (D) Olean Mayor.

Plans call for a small well near the waste water treatment plant. Crews will be able to connect portable pumps to it when the ground water is high, and send it into the Allegany River.

"We're completely comfortable with the fact that it'll take care of the problem... the beauty of it, we actually have the ability to now have these pumps used wherever we might need it in the city," said Tom Windus, Olean Public Works Director.

The flood control project here at the waste water treatment plant in Olean comes at time when the city is looking to do a full upgrade of the aging facility.

"That's a very difficult task to undertake... the storm events of 2011 really put a whammy in our thought process," said Windus.

Kemp is hopeful the worst is over.

"We're glad they're doing something, because its not fun to go through flooding situations, you know," said Kemp.

The project is expected to be complete this spring.

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