Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 10 projects have progressed to the next stage for federal action based on a thorough State vetting of their Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) proposals. This past June, Governor Cuomo announced a call for projects to be funded by the HMGP program to assist local governments and non-profit organizations rebuild stronger, more sustainable communities. Authorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the program aims to increase the States resiliency, mitigate the risks of loss and damage associated with future disasters, and reduce hardship.
As extreme weather becomes increasingly routine, we must not only rebuild New York but build it back stronger and better able to protect the safety of our citizens, Governor Cuomo said. This vital program enables communities to think creatively about preparing for future storms, bolstering infrastructure and helping to revive local economies in the process.
The 10 projects, estimated at $128 million, are among the first to be advanced for funding from this program. FEMA funds provide 75 percent reimbursement of eligible costs, up to the amount of the award. In-kind services or materials may be used toward the 25 percent non-Federal match.
After a Presidential disaster declaration, as in the case of Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Superstorm Sandy, FEMA provides HMGP funds for States to administer grant programs that support local hazard mitigation planning and long-term hazard mitigation measures to reduce the loss of life and damage to improved property from natural disasters. The projects are:
Village of Sidney, Delaware County - $22 million
Demonstrating the connectivity of watershed communities, the Sidney GreenPlain project is comprised of four distinct mitigation areas that would each have the ability to function independently, while forming one contiguous system. The areas are designed to provide additional flood storage for both the Susquehanna River and Weir Creek by creating a series of meandering channels that feed into to larger depressed storage areas. Additionally, the project will restore the unique plant community that thrives along and stabilizes the edge of the creek. This project will reduce risks village-wide, improve floodplain function, lessen damage to the Village core, and protect residents.
Flood Protection for Major Infrastructure
Village of Island Park, Nassau County - $40 million
During Superstorm Sandy, the Village of Island Park was inundated with six-to-eight feet of sea water. Every home and business in Island Park was flooded, and the Village lost its elementary school, firehouse, Village Hall, and houses of worship. To date, more than 30 percent of residents have not returned. The damage to drainage and infrastructure systems has left the community exposed to increased flooding during normal rainfall events, as well as during major storms. The Village proposes a series of stormwater, erosion and flood mitigation projects that will enhance flood protection for its community. Beginning with a comprehensive engineering study, the proposed action would include a thorough field examination of drainage systems and existing municipal bulkheads. Mitigation improvements may include tide gates, sub-surface stormwater storage, bulkhead upgrades, and road raising.
Wastewater Treatment Plant Flood Protection
City of Schenectady - $1,209,000
Located in the 500-year floodplain at an elevation of 228 feet, the City of Schenectady Wastewater Treatment Plant was almost flooded during Hurricane Irene. At the time of the storm, he level of the river rose to 225.5 feet, within six inches of surpassing the river bank adjoining the plant. If the riverbank had been overtopped, the low area would have filled with five-to 12 feet of water, damaging critical equipment and potentially carrying raw sewage into the Mohawk River at a rate of up to 13 million gallons per day. Flood damage to this critical asset would disrupt community recovery from the storm and would cause significant environmental and public health impacts. The Towns of Niskayuna, Colonie, Latham and Cohoes have public water supply wells and/or direct intakes from the Mohawk River, six and eight miles downstream, respectively. Aiming to protect the Wastewater Treatment Plant from a 500-year flood, this project aims to map, design and install a 14-foot-high berm that would be constructed to U.S. Army Corps of Engineering standards.
Acquire Carpetland Property
City of Amsterdam, Montgomery County - $148,002
Numerous flooding events, including Hurricane Irene, have damaged the Carpetland commercial building beyond repair. The City of Amsterdam proposed to acquire and demolish the building, clear the site, and restore the property as open space.
Lower Park Street Acquisitions
Town of Malone, Franklin County - $750,056
The Lower Park acquisitions proposal aims to acquire eight houses and associated outbuildings on eight separate parcels on Lower Park Street in the Town of Malone, Franklin County. All the properties have been significantly damaged in flood/ice jam events over the past nine years. Upon acquisition, all structures would be demolished to ground level, with basements or crawl spaces back filled with foundation materials and clean fill from an existing off-site material source. The areas will be graded, topsoil in place and seeded with grass. Parcels will be maintained as open space in perpetuity with Franklin County.
Richmond University Medical Center Wind Resiliency and Site Drainage
West Brighton, Staten Island - $12,071,076
With more than 2,000 employees and 510 patient beds, the Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) is considered a Level Trauma1 Center and a Stroke Center serving the Staten Island residents in the areas of areas of surgery, gastroenterology, pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology, endocrinology, urology, oncology, orthopedics, surgery and maternal health. As a direct result of high winds and flooding from Superstorm Sandy, RUMC lost power for four days. To avert future potential losses and to ensure continuity of service for this critical care facility, this project proposes improving new green flood control measures and hardening nine buildings against wind damage by replacing doors, louvers, and windows.
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center and Our Lady of Consolation Nursing Home
West Islip, Suffolk County - $20,980,082
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center (GSHMC) is a 537-bed critical hospital facility that serves a broad geographic area along the western shore of Suffolk County, with a primary service area of more than 850,000 individuals. At nearly 100,000 emergency room visits each year, GSHMC is one of the largest and busiest emergency rooms in all of Suffolk County. Our Lady of Consolation Nursing and Rehabilitative Care Center (OLC) is a 450-bed critical facility that serves long term chronically ill residents and short-term sub-acute and rehabilitation patients. The two facilities are owned and operated by the Catholic Health Services of Long Island and share a campus just a few hundred feet from the Great South Bay. The proposed projects will ensure the continuity of power to GSHMC and OLC in emergencies by replacing generators and elevating critical electrical systems. A civil engineering study will also be conducted and following its recommendations flood control measures will be taken to protect and provide resiliency against future surges from the Bay.
HMGP State Buyout Program
- Mohawk Valley - $9 million
- Sidney - $6.5 million
As part of the HMGP buyout program, the State will support the purchase 97 substantially damaged properties in the Mohawk Valley, and 73 in the Village of Sidney.
Properties are considered substantially damaged when they sustain damages that equal or exceed 50 percent of their Fair Market Value (FMV) prior to the event, as determined by local agencies.
Through the buyout, eligible owners will be able to sell their properties to the State, receiving the opportunity to relocate to higher and safer grounds. Following State purchases, the properties are then used for environmental purposes including open space, stormwater management and flood protection, thereby creating a natural buffer for coastal and riverine areas.
During the buyout and acquisition process, consideration is also given to a range of local recovery and revitalization plans, historic preservation ordinances, and the recommendations of the Sea Level Rise Task Force (SLRTF), among other elements.
Upstate Stream Management Hazard Mitigation:
- Exchange Street Housing Flood Resistance
City of Binghamton, Broome County - $4 million
Providing support to more than 400 vulnerable population residents, Exchange Street Housing requires upgrades that will reduce storm-related impacts on the clients it serves. This flood resistance project will provide feasibility study, design, and construction services for resilient and flood resistant infrastructure within existing public and supportive housing structures. Power, water, heating, and cooling systems in each building will be protected to prevent failure during future instances of extreme weather. The project will also enable the retrofitting of the buildings with flood-resistant utility systems, thereby decreasing interruptions to essential social services delivery.
- Carlin Creek South Watershed Improvements
Town of Conklin, Broome County - $1.84 million
Striving to lower and link a series of contiguous parcels of land, these watershed improvements will allow Carlin Creek to flow in a controlled manner during high-flow events. This project will not only reduce the risk of flash flooding and erosion to nearby residential neighborhoods, but will also better protect neighboring businesses and schools. The community will benefit from water quality improvement, and tourism generated by the train network.
- Huron Campus Flood Mitigation
Village of Endicott, Broome County - $2 million
This campus of approximately 162 acres was significantly flooded during Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, and has historically been prone to flooding attributed to problems with existing infrastructure. This plan seeks to enable the Huron Campus to transform parking areas into green space or large bio-retention areas to reduce stormwater runoff, restore a historic neighborhood to improve the downtowns resiliency and economic stability, and provide new opportunities to attract economic growth.
- Tri-Cities Airport Stormwater Improvements
Village of Endicott, Broome County - $184,000
This project aims to remove excess land and associated fill at an abandoned runway at Tri-Cities Airport along the Susquehanna River, thereby creating large flood storage areas to increase floodplain storage capacity. As a result of this project, downstream communities will have reduced stormwater backup threats during severe weather events, and the airport will be better equipped to prevent flood damage. By making these improvements to the airport, the community will increase its economic vitality and strength.
- Spring Brook Drainage Improvements
Village of Schoharie, Schoharie County - $3.8 million
Experiencing frequent overflowing from Spring Brook, the Village of Schoharie, experienced particularly excessive flooding during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. As a result of these storms, the villages County office building, historical landmarks and other critical community assets were negatively impacted. Through improvements to the Spring Brook drainage system, the village will enhance flow capacity into the stream channel by lowering the streambed, expanding the culvert sizes, installing retaining walls, and clearing out flood deposit and debris. This will provide protection to businesses and residents in the area.
- Moodna Creek Stormwater Storage Areas / Stream Management Improvements
Village of Washingtonville, Orange County - $500,000
This project will identify and analyze appropriate locations throughout the Village of Washingtonville to implement stream management measures, such as creating new stormwater storage areas, long-term gravel harvesting, and bank stabilization programs. The results will include safer access to homes, business, and hospitals. Additionally, they will serve the socially vulnerable populations in the Village. This project will also work to help alleviate damages to roadways and infrastructure, and increase the capacity of the creek to move floodwaters.
- Wetland Drainage System Improvements
Village of Waterford, Saratoga County - $500,000
Facilitating better management of floodwaters for the Village of Waterford, this project will include the permitting and constructing of drainage system improvements.. Enhancements are likely to include modifications to headwalls, wingwalls, culverts, a vegetated open channel and catchment structures, and the elevation of a low-lying section of Fourth Street. This project ensures proper drainage of the wetland complex, and will protect residences from flooding.
- Restoration and Flood Mitigation at Johns Brook
Town of Keene, Essex County - $1,388,436
This project will implement green infrastructure and ecological restoration techniques to improve habitat, mitigate flooding, and support recreation-based tourism in the Town of Keene. Highway bridges will be replaced, the outlet of Little Johns Brook will be re-designed, multiple flow paths and high flow channels will be re-introduced, and in-stream habitat along Johns Brook will be restored. Implementation of this project will improve aquatic habitat, and protect life, property, and assets in developed areas downstate.