NEW HAMPTON — As a steady rain fell Tuesday night, water pooled in cornfields and around flowering trees on farmland along Onion Avenue.

By Wednesday morning, water still ran high in the drainage ditches alongside saturated cropland here in this corner where the northwest edge of the fertile black dirt region meets the northeast edge of the Town of Wawayanda.

“I’m losing a lot of plants over there,” said Kostas Theofanis, owner of Major Blossom Farm, where wet ground has hurt trees and prevented his workers from using equipment to maintain the plantings. “We lost over $15,000 in plants already this year. That’s a lot of money that we lost, and we’re going to lose a lot more because of the water.”

The culverts where the drainage ditches cross Onion Avenue need to be lowered so the water will flow properly, allowing the cropland to drain, say Theofanis and Stanley Rzeczkowski, who owns Mighty Midget Ditching and Excavating.

Rzeczkowski’s crew dug out Major Blossom’s ditches about a week ago. If the water sits in the ditches on the high side of the road because the culverts are too high, he said, the plants rot.

Theofanis said he’s been trying for three years to get the Town of Wawayanda to address the ditches.

“We put it on our list to do,” said Thomas DeBlock, the town highway superintendent. He said he expects that Onion Avenue will get culvert work by summer or fall, but the town has to work out logistics.

Among other things, the town needs Orange and Rockland Utilities to come in and “hold” the power lines and utility poles while any work is done, because the poles are close to the ditches.

“It’s a big project,” DeBlock said.

DeBlock, who retired from dairy farming five years ago, said the town addressed three culverts on Onion Avenue last year.

hyakin@th-record.com