Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an innovative $2 million flood mitigation and stream restoration program in the Village of Hoosick Falls to help the community recover from devastating floods that occurred this past July. Historic rainfall in a few short hours caused flooding of the Woods Brook, which damaged homes and area infrastructure. Under the Governor's direction, the state has continued to provide direct support and assistance to the community in their recovery.
"New York is no stranger to the damage that severe weather can inflict on communities, and time and time again, we have stepped up to provide real relief to families affected by storms," Governor Cuomo. "This funding will give residents the resources they need to build back better and stronger as they recover from the flooding they experienced this summer."
The program was designed and developed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the village of Hoosick Falls, in partnership with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Specifically, the program features:
- Up to $1 million will be made available to the Village to purchase and remove up to 13 flood-damaged structures;
- $900,000 to implement green infrastructure projects to hold and slow flood waters upstream of the Village; and
- $182,000 to design the flood plain restoration project in the impacted area.
Senator Kathy Marchione said, "With the announcement of this new $2 million State investment to help Hoosick Falls recover from this summer's damaging flood and assist in mitigating future flooding, Governor Cuomo is once again demonstrating his continued, significant and strong commitment to helping Hoosick Falls. I thank the Governor for this funding, as well as the considerable support and assistance he continues providing to the community. This flood relief funding and community investment is terrific, welcome news that will help the community continue moving forward."
Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino said, "This is great news for the residents of Hoosick Falls as the much needed assistance to recover from the devastating flooding as well as prevent future occurrences. I want to commend the Governor for allocating these vital resources as well as thank all of the partners in government from the village on up to the state for the concerted effort to help this community recover from the flooding."
Hoosick Falls Mayor Rob Allen said, "This is a monumental day for our Village. We have been provided a pathway to make a lasting and permanent solution to a problem that has plagued our Village for decades. We are extremely grateful to the Governor, DEC, and DHSES for their months of work on this project. Not only does it show our State Government's commitment to Hoosick Falls, but it is an example of the state providing support and opportunities to one of the many beautiful rural locations in Upstate New York."
Hoosick Town Supervisor Mark Surdam said, "We have had flooding problems with Woods Brook going back to the 1950s and any relief that state can provide would be greatly appreciated."
Through this program, the state will assist in the voluntarily acquisition and demolition of up to 13 flood damaged properties that were built above and adjacent to the flood prone Woods Brook. An engineering consultant working with the village will design a new restoration project to daylight the Woods Brook and install flood plains and natural stream features on the site of the flood damaged properties that—when coupled with other projects—will help withstand a 500-year flood. The funding will also be used to design a community park to be developed within the flood prone area in the future. In later phases, New York State will collaborate with the village to identify state funds needed to implement the flood plain park project.
In addition, this program will implement green infrastructure projects at the headwaters of the Woods Brook to improve the capacity of the brook and alleviate flooding downstream. These projects will consist of widening the brook, creating wetlands, and heightening culverts, which were identified by a prior study funded by the state.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Through Governor Cuomo's leadership, this creative project is providing the protection the Hoosick Falls Community needs to withstand future flooding. We look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and the Village to advance these important projects quickly and improve the resiliency of the Woods Brook area."
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "This is another example of Governor Cuomo's commitment to bringing State resources together to help communities devastated by severe weather. HCR is proud to make a $900,000 Community Development Block Grant award to create environmentally friendly infrastructure that increases the capacity of Woods Brook, eases downstream flooding, and helps keep the village and its residents safe."
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger L. Parrino Sr., said, "Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo the Department of Environmental Conservation created a proactive program to make Hoosick Falls more resilient so they can better withstand flooding in the future."