Projects Proposed in Niagara County NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $2.7 million to implement projects proposed in the Niagara County NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan that address persistent damage from severe flooding. In the summer of 2013, communities throughout the county suffered significant damage from flooding and this funding supports their ongoing efforts to become more resilient against future flooding and extreme weather.
"More and more, extreme weather and severe storms are becoming the new normal and we must do all we can to help communities throughout New York become more resilient and better prepared in this new reality," Governor Cuomo said. "These projects will make critical upgrades that reduce potential vulnerabilities in Niagara County and ensure residents are protected from future flooding."
The NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program is a bottom-up, planning process designed to empower communities that suffered significant damage from Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The program was established in April 2013 by the Governor and is funded almost entirely by over $600 million of federal funds through the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program. Following the summer storms of 2013, New York State contributed an addition $15 million to the program, including $3 million specifically for efforts in Niagara County.
Acting Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "The Department of State is pleased to support the Governor’s resiliency planning efforts to prepare Niagara County for future disasters and advance projects that are critical to the well-being of these communities."
The following projects, which were developed by the Niagara County NY Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committee will address critical vulnerabilities to flood damage in the area:
- $1,500,000 for Sewer Separation on High Street in the City of Lockport. The severe flooding in June of 2013 caused significant damage to the sewer system in the City of Lockport, impacting over 600 residents and much of the city's infrastructure. Installing a new stormwater main trunk line on High Street will divert stormwater from the current combined system and reduce the risk of sewer backups during heavy weather events.
- $325,000 for Emergency Power Generation for Pump Stations in the Town of Lockport. When more than five inches of rain fell in the Town of Lockport in June of 2013, power was lost to key pump stations in Lockport’s sanitary sewer system, causing the sewer system to shut down and resulting in basement backup flooding of entire residential subdivisions. This project will install permanent stand-by emergency power generation at key pump stations throughout the Lockport system to mitigate future flood damage and prevent discharges of untreated wastewater into dwellings and businesses.
- $350,000 for Emergency Power for the Wastewater Treatment Plant in the City of Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) has no permanently installed backup power source to ensure operation of the lift station during a power outage. This project will expand the emergency power distribution system within the Niagara Falls WWTP and replace an undersized diesel standby generator with modern, up-sized equipment capable of meeting the full WWTP power needs under emergency conditions.
- $325,000 for Emergency Power Generation at the City of Niagara Falls Sewer Collection System. With no permanent backup power sources, the Niagara Falls sewer collection system is susceptible to wastewater backups that could cause raw wastewater to flood basements throughout the city in the event of widespread power outages. This project will install permanent power generation at critical lift stations in the Niagara Falls sewer collection system in order to protect residents from basement flooding and exposure to raw wastewater.
- $200,000 for Sewer Lift Stations Standby Generators in the Town of Wheatfield. The residents of the Town of Wheatfield are at risk of flooding due to sewer system backup in the event of a power outage caused by a severe weather event. By installing emergency standby generators at sewer lift stations throughout the town, this project will mitigate damaging flooding of residential dwellings, reduce maintenance costs to clean up back flows, and minimize risk to public health that may result from exposure to wastewater.
Niagara County Legislature Chairman Wm. Keith McNall said, "Niagara County sincerely appreciates Governor Cuomo's Flood Resiliency Projects in Niagara County. The projects will help prepare Niagara County for future inclement weather damages, disasters and flooding as well as water treatment facility improvements."
Town of Lockport Supervisor Mark Crocker said, "We are thrilled that we've been offered this money to provide emergency backup generation for our lift stations. It couldn't come at a better time as we're just about to begin a phase two plan to upgrade our lift stations with pumps and emergency backup. On behalf of the people of Lockport, we say 'thank you.'"
Town of Wheatfield Supervisor Robert Cliffe said, "Wheatfield has sewer lift stations in older, lower areas. During times when there are power failures in these areas, raw sewer can back up into homes and businesses causing an ungodly mess. During huge storms like we had in 2012 and 2013, we do have a couple of generators which we can hook up to the lift stations. However, by the time we receive calls from the neighborhood and get crews pulled in to hook up these generators, there may already have been damages. What could be worse than a basement filled with raw sewage? These generators will go a long way toward saving the many residents in these areas from financial and personal losses. We appreciate Albany's help, and look forward to working with the State to get these installed."
Lockport Mayor Ann McCaffrey said, "This funding is great news for the City of Lockport. In 2013, we experienced a significant flood event that affected many residents and businesses. We have plans, and now the funding, in place to improve our infrastructure and reduce the risk of future flooding. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for their support of this initiative and for the opportunity to increase our resiliency against future flooding."
Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said, "Backup power is key to weathering a flood emergency. We thank Governor Cuomo for providing funding that will help minimize the flooding of basements, which is every homeowner’s dreaded nightmare."