Flood control funds scarce

Nearly $100 million in state funding will be put toward flood control, dam maintenance and erosion-c

Nearly $100 million in state funding will be put toward flood control, dam maintenance and erosion-control projects statewide, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Monday.

But unlike the devastation wrought by tropical storms Irene and Lee last year, the money largely bypasses the Capital Region: Out of approximately $98 million announced Monday, the only local award is $379,000 for a project in the city of Amsterdam.

None of the funding is being directed toward Schoharie or Schenectady counties, both hard-hit last summer.

Cuomo in a news release hailed the state government’s success in passing “transformative and balanced” budgets for the past two years.

“The centerpiece of this budget is the New York Works program, which will help rebuild our aging infrastructure, including our dams and flood control systems, to protect people and property throughout our state,” he said.

State Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said the state funding for Amsterdam will go to the flood-control project that protects the city’s South Side.

The South Side flood protection system, completed in 1965 under guidance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, includes a 10-foot flood wall stretching roughly 3,200 feet along the eastern bank of the South Chuctanunda Creek. It begins just south of Florida Avenue and runs along the creek, protecting Albert, Center and Vedder streets and Strong Place.

It continues to the east at the Mohawk River and runs up to the Route 30 bridge.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in September notified the city that the flood wall and levee system require inspection — a factor that delayed the completion of new flood mapping for the city’s South Side.

DeSantis said the state intends to repair flood wall sections near Bridge Street and replace a broken pump station door and conduit. The work will include a video inspection of the conduit that transports water, and joints in the flood walls will be resealed.

The project will also include tree removal and installation of backup power generators.

“New York state has been hit by several major floods in recent years, with the Mohawk Valley Region being significantly impacted in both 2006 and 2011,” state Sen. Hugh T. Farley, R-Niskayuna, said in the news release. “The state needs to take additional steps to help prevent future flooding. The New York Works program is a critical tool that will allow us to undertake numerous infrastructure projects, including important flood control projects around the state, while also creating needed jobs.”

Categories: Schenectady County

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