LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Drainage issue still bedeviling Bowers

Flooding in the streets is an issue that those in the town of Bowers are all too familiar with. Walking on Hubbard Avenue can become a wet ordeal on any given day due to the massive high tide produced by the Murderkill River that flows right next to the town.

During the warmer months and when periods of heavy rain occur, it is not uncommon to see all of Hubbard Avenue flooded, with waters extending all the way back to Main Street, making these streets inaccessible to cars. In reports provided to me from the mayor of Bowers Beach, Mrs. Ada Puzzo, the environmental damage and health risks these frequent flooding events have on the town are immense.

For example, if emergency services were needed in the area where the heaviest flooding occurs (Hubbard Avenue), it would be almost impossible or severely delayed to get these services to those who need them due to the massive amount of water flooding the streets. In addition, due to a malfunctioning storm drain, once the streets become flooded, it can take several hours if not days for the water to completely subside.

This standing water can result in a perfect environment for mosquitoes, and subsequently increases the likelihood of transmitting-mosquito associated illnesses. Property damage and flooding of residential wells resulting in contaminated water are also a huge problem associated with the flooding experienced in town.

Loss of revenue from businesses that cannot operate appropriately and/or get customers into their establishments, as well as the cyclical cost of repairing any damage that is a result from floodwaters, puts a huge strain on the potential growth of this small beach town located near Dover.

Ultimately, something needs to change, and this issue needs to be addressed. Again, in reports obtained from Mrs. Puzzo, it would appear that this issue is continually being looked at, and several ideas have been established on how to correct the issue of flooding in town. As it pertains to the flooding that occurs on Hubbard Avenue, three ideas that have been established include: taking no action, installing a drainage pump system, or rebuilding the seawall and replacing the malfunctioning piece on the current storm drain.

No action would obviously continue to give the town of Bowers more of the same, while not costing them anything more. The drainage pump system would be extremely expensive to implement and, additionally, not that all effective if the deteriorated seawall remains in its current condition. Therefore, that leaves the last idea of rebuilding the seawall and fixing the part of the storm drain that does not work.

While it would come at a cost to do these repairs, it is exponentially cheaper to go with this option that should in theory last for 20-30, years as compared to a highly expensive drainage pump that may only last a few years and will need continuous and costly maintenance. If you ask me, building a (sea)wall has never sounded so good.

Samuel Clark

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