Taking inventory | News, Sports, Jobs

Taking inventory | News, Sports, Jobs

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford
Electric crews work to restore power poles and lines on Central Avenue Monday morning.

The new Lakefront Boulevard wall held up well in Saturday’s storm, according to Dunkirk Department of Public Works Director Randy Woodbury.

The wall was redesigned “to add prior-lacking tensile and torsional strength (as requested by city DPW after the 2019 storm revealed those weaknesses,” he said Monday. The redesign “showed strong success” in the weekend storm, he said, noting, “The weekend waves and wind matched or exceeded the 2019 disaster.”

That storm two years ago trashed much of the wall, and sections of Lakefront Boulevard were closed until earlier this year, when the replacement barrier was finished.

It was far different on Saturday. Woodbury said this time, the wall sustained just “minor and repairable cosmetic damage … where immense waves slammed driftwood onto rails but this was limited to just a few feet out of 3,000 feet.”

Lakefront Boulevard is currently closed to vehicular traffic for the winter season — stormy weather or not.

Submitted photo
Downed trees are impacting the Villenova Cemetery.

With the weekend storm in the spotlight, Woodbury took the opportunity to push for a long-term fix to the problem of storms smashing Lakefront Boulevard and its wall.

“DPW still recommends adding segmented offshore breakwaters, like Army Corps (of Engineers) built at Presque Isle (State Park in Erie, Pa.) to calm water before it hits the wall and requires the boulevard to be closed during storms and for most of winter,” he said.

Woodbury also offered an update Monday on the situation at Point Gratiot, where a road washout has closed the park until further notice.

He said a “request is in to the DEC for emergency repair assistance, and we will fix accordingly, especially for police patrol and other emergency access.”

On Central Avenue, crews continued work on morning to replace utility poles that were knocked down in Saturday’s windstorm in front of the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds. Central Avenue from Millard Fillmore Drive to Fairview Avenue was closed over the weekend after power lines came down during the weekend storm.

Outside the city, Villenova Cemetery — once known as Wright Corners or Balcom Corners Cemetery — had damage from both wind and snow. Judy Phillis, Villenova Burial Association president, reported the three fallen trees heavily damaged the “sacred place where the deceased have placed their trust in the attentiveness of the living.”

As the last active cemetery in Villenova, it continues to serve the town and South Dayton community as it has for more than 200 years. “The (tree) removal will cost several thousands of dollars,” Phillips noted.

Donations to help the association from this large and unexpected expense can be sent to: Villenova Burial Association, c/o Jenny Dye, 8568 Silver Creek Road, South Dayton, NY 14138.

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