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Town Of Mamaroneck Preemptively Preparing For Spring Flooding

Flooding in Harbor Island Park during Hurricane Irene caused big problems for Mamaroneck residents.
Flooding in Harbor Island Park during Hurricane Irene caused big problems for Mamaroneck residents. Photo Credit: Filed

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- As all the snow melts, and spring lurks less than a month away, the Town of Mamaroneck is preemptively amping up its flood preparedness.

According to Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson, since the town suffered serious flooding during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, there hasn't been much catastrophic flooding.

However, with close to record snowfalls this year, the saturated ground could lead to some trouble.

"With a heavy rain or thaw, there's no question we'd have a lot of water," she said. "We are lowering our reservoir in advance or anticipation of storms. That provides huge a holding space for us."

Seligson said the town has also been clearing the catch basins, so water will be able to evacuate through the storm drains.

She added that while melting snow can be a threat, rapid-falling spring rains are a bigger concern.

"The rivers and streams are our biggest problem. We can handle a lot of rain over a day or two, but when it falls in a few hours, they will flood. And sometimes, there can be a critical amount in a small enough time frame where the system could be overwhelmed," she said.

According to Seligson, the town is currently in the process of working on a hazard prevention and mitigation program. In the draft, which is available on the town website, flooding is being recognized as the No. 1 issue that affects the town.

Residents were invited to a series of public meetings to participate in breakout sessions to discuss sustainability and resiliency in the town.

During the sessions, many of the residents brought up their biggest flood-related concern was loss of power.

While many residents felt burying the power lines would be the best option, Seligson doesn't believe it would be a good for the town because of how costly the process would be, how difficult the lines would be to repair and maintain and the dangers of flood waters coming into contact with the wires.

Seligson said town residents have also suggested some creative, more affordable ideas, like community generators, solar powered wagons to help people charge their devices and relying on renewable resources like wind and solar.

A public hearing on the proposed hazard mitigation plan will be held during the town board meeting on March 19.


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