Enhancements Will Mitigate Flooding, Preserve Integrity of Key Evacuation Routes and Promote Access to Emergency Vehicles
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of the Cranford Drive Drainage Improvements Project, a $5.1 million effort to institute improved drainage infrastructure in the Town of Clarkstown. Developed by members of the local NY Rising Community Reconstruction Committee, the project will alleviate flooding that has occurred in the area over the past 30 years through the modification and realignment of the Demarest Kill, a tributary of the western branch of the Hackensack River.
"Reliable infrastructure is critical to protecting communities and promoting public safety in the face of extreme weather events," Governor Cuomo said. "This project will not only prevent future flooding from storms, it will also bolster important thoroughfares, making Clarkstown stronger and more resilient for any future damaging weather that Mother Nature has in store."
"Residents in the Town of Clarkstown have had to deal with flooding for decades, and extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy have only made matters worse," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement. "With $3 million in state funding and a partnership with local governments, this infrastructure project will improve storm resiliency and quality of life for Rockland County residents."
During Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, rapidly rising waters poured over the stream's banks, inundating bridges and culverts and restricting access along key thoroughfares. The project - which will ultimately create a channel and floodplain with the appropriate dimensions to contain flooding, maintain flows and limit stream bank erosion - is being funded by the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery in partnership with Rockland County and the Town of Clarkstown.
Governor Cuomo established the NYRCR Program in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee to empower residents in the recovery and resiliency process, and to speak to the specific needs and assets of their communities. The Cranford Drive Drainage Improvements Project, which is now being implemented by the Town of Clarkstown, is among the hundreds of locally devised proposals moving forward through the NYRCR Program statewide.
Through the Cranford Drive Drainage Improvements Project, approximately 4,650 linear feet of the bed and banks of the Demarest Kill, located south of Old Route 304 and running parallel to Cranford Drive, will be realigned and reinforced. As the channel is reconfigured to improve stream flow, the planting of various shrubs and trees will further mitigate flooding through the use of natural resources.
Enhancements are being made along Cranford Drive, Bush Court, Craigmere Oval and Ridgefield Drive with the goal of protecting life and property during future storm events. GOSR provided $3 million to facilitate the project, with another $1 million coming in Rockland County Drainage Agency funds. The Town of Clarkstown provided an additional $1.1 million bond.
Through its interventions, the project will enable the town to seek a flood map reclassification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, correcting a previous mapping error and yielding savings for New Yorkers in their home insurance premiums.
Emily Thompson, Acting General Counsel and Chief External Affairs Officer for the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery said, "The residents of Clarkstown are unfortunately all too familiar with major flooding events. Through the Cranford Drive Drainage Improvements Project, we will protect the health, safety and welfare of those who live and work in and around the Town of Clarkstown. We are proud to join Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Hochul in promoting the future sustainability of our great state."
Senator David Carlucci said, "Finally, our residents will have relief and homes will be better protected from strong rain or severe weather events. This project is an example of the State, Rockland County, and the Town of Clarkstown working together to improve a significant quality of life issue. "
Assembly Member Ken Zebrowski said, "The flooding that residents have suffered through for three decades should be finally coming to an end. This is something that the Town of Clarkstown has been working on diligently for years, and I am thrilled that this project is coming to fruition. I want to thank the Governor and his Office of Storm Recovery for their attention to this project and for the substantial funding to help see it through. I also want to extend my gratitude to The Town of Clarkstown and the Rockland County Draining Agency, as well as the residents that have been so patient throughout this entire process."
Town of Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann said, "I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, the dedicated team at the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery and the County of Rockland for their support of this project. This project is of paramount importance to the people who live here and who have suffered with flooding issues for years."
Area Resident Mike Catina said, "After years of suffering with severe flooding on my property, it is comforting to know that a long-term solution will finally address the flooding issues of the residents of this area of New City."
Altogether, more than 650 New Yorkers served on 66 NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) Planning Committees across the state and have together proposed hundreds of projects inspired by the unique needs and assets of their regions. Collectively, NYRCR Committees have held 650 planning meetings and 250 large-scale public engagement events as they have worked to rebuild more sustainable communities, reinforce infrastructure, mitigate the risks of loss and damage associated with future disasters and spur revitalization.
Established in June 2013, GOSR coordinates Statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction, Infrastructure and Rebuild by Design programs, GOSR invests $4.5 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding to better prepare New York for extreme weather events. More information about GOSR and its programs is available online at http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/.