January 11, 2022
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Completion of $1.8 Million Initiative to Improve Wallkill Resiliency and Emergency Response

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Governor Hochul Announces Completion of $1.8 Million Initiative to Improve Wallkill Resiliency and Emergency Response
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Part of $3.1 Million Plan to Help Wallkill Adapt to Climate Change

Will Reduce Flooding During Future Storms and Protect and Improve Infrastructure

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of the Winding Brook Floodplain Mitigation initiative, a $1.8 million effort to diminish flood damage during future storms, protect vital infrastructure, and improve emergency response capabilities. The project is part of an overall $3.1 million plan to strengthen Wallkill's storm resiliency in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

"As our climate changes and heavy storms continue to happen more frequently, we need solutions that make our communities more resilient," Governor Hochul said. "By strengthening critical infrastructure, improving response capabilities, and staying prepared, we are laying the ground work to help future generations of New Yorkers weather the impacts of climate change."

Through the Floodplain Mitigation project, culverts along Ben Lomond Drive and Badami Drive, two roadways that suffered severe flooding and erosion during major storms, were replaced to improve water flow into the Winding Brook corridor and reduce stormwater runoff. Pavement and guiderails were also replaced, and vegetation was cleared from culverts to help reduce debris buildup. Since its completion, the Town of Wallkill has experienced several storms and the roads were clear of water due to the upgraded drainage.

In addition to the Winding Brook project, GOSR's work in Wallkill also included a project to improve drainage along State Route 211 (SR 211) and Fitzgerald Drive, which was completed in February 2021. The project opened - or daylighted - an obstructed drainage culvert to reduce the accumulation of water. It also expanded a water detention area to temporarily hold storm water during major weather events and a riparian buffer was established with native trees and other plantings to absorb storm water.

GOSR also installed battery backup systems and hook-up components that allow for connecting portable backup generators at 15 traffic lights along SR 211, completed in August 2020. Following the GOSR's lead, additional hook-ups will also be installed at even more Wallkill intersections along SR 211 and other major roads.

Eileen Méus, Deputy Executive Director of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure Programs at GOSR said, "We are pleased that GOSR's community-driven grassroots design process resulted in three projects that will ensure the entire Wallkill community is better protected during future storms and will help New York adapt to a changing climate."

Senator Mike Martucci said, "In just the past year, Orange County experienced multiple severe weather events with damages resulting in hardships for our residents and disruptions to daily life. Projects like this are important to safeguard against these types of events in the future and ensure our first responders are put in the best position to handle the dangers that arise from them. I thank the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery for making this considerable investment in my senate district and the people who live here."

Assemblymember Aileen Gunther said, "I am happy to see the completion of the Winding Brook Floodplain Mitigation Project. The town of Wallkill has experienced devastating flooding in recent years, and the work being done to harden this infrastructure will go a long way towards ensuring that the town is better prepared for future flood events. The need for strengthening our infrastructure is urgent, and with the increasing strength and frequency of storms in our area this work is even more important. I look forward to continuing work throughout my district to help ensure the safety and sustainability of our communities."

Wallkill Town Supervisor George Serrano said, "As a longtime resident of the Town of Wallkill, I have seen the damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Lee firsthand.  The damage to our community was devastating to business and residents alike.  I am proud of our partnership with the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery and the funding they provided us with through the NY Rising Grant Program. This partnership allowed us to complete three projects which mitigated safety and flooding concerns at no cost to our residents."

About GOSR

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 at http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/.

Through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) and Infrastructure Programs, the State takes on a variety of initiatives developed during its bottom-up community planning process to improve resiliency, protect critical infrastructure, mitigate the risks of loss and damage associated with future disasters, and reduce hardship.

Now in the implementation stage, GOSR works with a variety of municipal, county, and non-profit partners to bring hundreds of locally devised proposals to fruition.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

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