Limestone weathers flooding once again

The Mystic Water Resort on Parkside Drive in Limestone, shown here on Tuesday, was spared damage to its buildings when flood waters hit the community Friday. Owner Bill Rounsville said the recreational facility is open for winter campers and will have ground damage sustained from flooding repaired and ready for spring visitors.

LIMESTONE, N.Y. — In the aftermath of recent flooding in the Limestone area, a couple of community leaders provided updates on the community’s status this week.

Town of Carrollton Supervisor Jim Stoddard said flooding, that has been chronic over the years in Limestone, especially in the area of the Bailey Drive bridge that spans Tunungwant Creek, could have been worse during Friday’s heavy rainstorm. He said other areas, such as the north end of Main Street, which flooded a low-lying field near U.S. Route 219, didn’t cause a lot of property damage.

“We didn’t get hit too bad, there were berms and stuff that got a little washed out,” Stoddard said. “For the amount of water we got we did OK, I think.”

Stoddard noted Mystic Water Resort, located on Parkside Drive and owned by Bill Rounsville, was flooded by quite a bit of water, but for the most part the facility fared well.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Stoddard added. “We had a little break in the rain and I think it dissipated (the water) a little bit, which really helped out quite a bit.”

Rounsville agreed and said his recreational facility, which was booked by winter guests, avoided damage with the cabins as they are raised up off the ground.

“We just have a mess (on the grounds) to clean up in the spring,” Rounsville remarked. “There’s mud and debris and (the water) knocked some posts over. But we’ll be up and running in the spring again.”

Rounsville said the resort’s pond had six inches of ice that was lifted straight up with the flood water.

“I had all those posts at the end of the drive range and the ice bent them over” as well as a couple of trees, he explained. “Luckily, it did that or it would have gone up against the barn.”

Rounsville said there is still ice covering the 60 acres of the property which makes up the resort and surrounding area.

Rounsville recalled that his property also flooded almost a year ago to the day on Jan. 13, 2017.

Stoddard recalled another flood in 2008 in Limestone that was worse than Friday’s event and caused more damage.

In commenting on the chronic flooding of the community, Stoddard said Town of Carrollton leaders have asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the past to help remedy the flooding of the Tunungwant in their community, but to no avail.

“It’s unfortunate that we get everything from Bradford (Pa.),” Stoddard said of water that is funneled to Limestone from Bradford located approximately 10 miles south. According to a 1960 report by the chief of engineers with the U.S. Army, the Bradford area had flood control constructed by the Corps of Engineers in the late 1950s. The project included the deepening, lining and construction of cut-offs of the Tunungwant, which is a tributary of the upper Allegheny River.

Stoddard said it would be good if the Corps of Engineers would construct some type of control in the Limestone area, but doesn’t believe it will happen in his lifetime.

Andrew Kornacki, of the Buffalo district of Corps of Engineers, said the Pittsburgh District of the Corps would oversee a flood control project in the Limestone area if it would ever come to fruition. A call seeking comment from the hydrologic engineering center of the Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh was not returned Tuesday.

Kornacki was able to offer general comments on the flooding issue in Limestone, and had this to say.

“Because (the projects) are paid with federal dollars, every dollar you put in for a federal project has to return at least a dollar in protection,” Kornacki explained. “There are a lot of great things we, or contractors can do, however, (the determining factor is) you putting in $10 million to get $5 million in protection” for a smaller community such as Limestone.

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