The city of Geneva is grappling with the aftermath of a storm that dumped up to 3½ inches of rain in a two-hour period on April 5, causing widespread flooding and damage to infrastructure.
Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Joe Venuti informed the City Council that there are no easy answers to the flooding issues, which affected downtown and several neighborhoods. The historic rain event overwhelmed the city’s infrastructure and natural watercourses.
Venuti and his team are examining the city’s aging storm sewer system, much of which dates back to the late 1800s, and its ability to handle such deluges. He cited debris buildup in creeks and insufficient discharge points into Seneca Lake as contributing factors to the flooding. Venuti also pointed to stormwater infiltration into the city’s sewage treatment system as another concern. The wastewater treatment plant capacity spiked from 6 million to 34 million gallons following the rainstorm.
Addressing the problem is not an easy fix, according to Venuti, as replacing the storm sewer system is neither feasible nor practical due to the enormous costs. He is open to partnering with the town of Geneva to address stormwater runoff, as well as improving street cleaning to remove debris and prevent clogging. Meanwhile, residents are calling on the city to find solutions and address the damage caused by flooding.
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