Officials talk flood resiliency plan
Hudson Valley YNN
By: Maria Valvanis
June 24, 2013
SCHOHARIE, N.Y. — “This effort is to try and wrap our heads around life and property, flood resiliency, post Irene, Lee and Sandy,” said Assemblyman Pete Lopez.
And the only way to do that, Assemblyman Lopez says, is through team work.
Watershed advisory co-chair Robert Illjes said, “We’ll take information that we garner from Schoharie County and share it with the other four counties. We’re all in this together.”
Representatives from throughout the Schoharie watershed area were at Monday’s meeting. The group agreed the first step towards being able to make a long term flood resiliency plan is to survey the area, finding each problem.
“We don’t want to go in there and start doing stream work without understanding how streams work,” said Schoharie Stream Manager Peter Nichols.
The study won’t just focus on the Schoharie Creek but also the tributaries further downstream that contribute to flooding.
Nichols said, “I just haven’t really had the budget or capacity to do implementation. It’s been more assessment.”
Peter Nichols is the stream manager for Schoharie County. The group appointed him to head the study that will begin at the waterways in Greene County and end at the Mohawk River in Montgomery County.
“We’re starting to realize unless we take a more proactive role with flood mitigation and stream stabilization projects, it’s not going to get any better with the kind of storm events were seeing,” said Nichols.
Lopez said, “The issue is what is the scope of work first, then how do we wrap funding around it.”
Lopez says that part comes at a local level. Once again, everyone will have to work together to find funds.
“Working individually, there has been a lot of problems and a lack of success. Perhaps working collectively, we’ll be able to get those goals we’ve established accomplished,” said Illjes.
The group will meet again to discuss the study’s budget at the end of July.