We must do better


When the highway crew came last week and scraped out a gully on the side of the road, we knew that when the rains came there would be mud.

And mud there was. The crew was trying to fix a problem with massive amounts of water careening down Erie Avenue in Narrowsburg. The steep road is pitched incorrectly, and a catch basin that used to handle water is now paved over.

The road is deteriorating as is our sidewalk, which when it rains becomes a sluiceway.

I teased that we could host model boat races.

All kidding aside, it’s amazingly disconcerting to witness “old-school” and inadequate solutions being implemented as the problem of storm water management increases.

Following Wednesday’s storm, the crew was out with their road sweeper collecting the debris that gathered, not only along Erie Ave but also from deep gouges on Main Street.

Welcome to the future; welcome to the past.

As the volume and velocity of storms increase, so does the pressure on our inadequate storm water management systems. While it was never a particularly good idea to simply funnel storm water runoff into storm drains and then into streams, now we know better.

Our road crews, our local governments, indeed all of us have an obligation, to become aware of changing best management practices for handling the effects of changing weather patterns. For storm water, we need to be designing ways to slow the water down, so that it doesn’t take our top soil into our lakes, streams, rivers and basin outlets that stretch down to the sea. The water needs to be sequestered on our properties.

Of course, we are thankful that we, so far, are not experiencing destructive rain and tornados that are frequenting the Northern Wayne and Scranton area. And it behooves us all to make sure that those who are caring for our infrastructure are taking steps that help and not cause further damage.

There are two stone walls across the street that will undoubtedly fall.

We need to shore them up and brush up on how to take steps to minimize the damage caused by storms and short-sighted fixes.


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