10.12.18

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND, ENGEL ANNOUNCE INCLUSION OF MAMARONECK AND SHELDRAKE RIVER BASIN PROJECT IN BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT FOR WATER RESOURCE BILL; PROJECT IS VITAL TO PROTECT MAMARONECK RESIDENTS’ HOMES & BUSINESSES, WHICH REMAIN AT RISK OF FLOODING

Inclusion Of Project In The Just Passed Water Resource Bill Is Next Big Step Forward; Reps Say Mamaroneck-Sheldrake Project Is Vital To Address Flooding

Schumer, Gillibrand, Engel: Village Of Mamaroneck Residents And Businesses Must Be Protected From Future Flooding

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and U.S. Representative Eliot Engel today announced they were successful in securing authorization to continue to move forward with the Mamaroneck-Sheldrake River project in the final, bipartisan agreement for the 2018 Water Resource Development Act (WRDA), which passed the Senate on Wednesday and passed the House last week. The federal representatives said without progress on this essential project, residents and business owners in the area remain at risk of severe flooding.

“Floods have devastated the Village of Mamaroneck, and ensuring their infrastructure is shored up and capable of protecting the village from the storms of the future is absolutely critical for both the regional economy and public safety,” said Senator Schumer. “Simply put, we can’t wait any longer before we implement a better flood protection plan for the whole community, which is why we fought so hard to have the Mamaroneck-Sheldrake River project authorized in the 2018 WRDA bill. I was proud to fight on behalf of the Village of Mamaroneck in the Senate, and will keep pushing until this vital, life-saving project is fully funded and implemented.”

“I am very pleased that this vitally important legislation to protect the Village of Mamaroneck has passed Congress and will soon be signed into law,” said Senator Gillibrand, member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “We are seeing stronger storms hitting New York, and the resulting flooding has devastated our communities. This provision will authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to design and construct a flood risk management project for the Village of Mamaroneck. The lives and livelihoods of New Yorkers are at stake, which is why I fought in the Environment and Public Works Committee to make sure that this provision was included in this year’s WRDA bill. We must be proactive to ensure that protections are in place to prevent another major flood, and I will continue to work in the Senate to make sure that this project is completed.”

“The flood problem in Mamaroneck is something my colleagues and I have been working on for some time,” said Congressman Engel. “I’ve toured the effected flood zones on several occasions with the Army Corps of Engineers and have seen firsthand the devastating effect this persistent problem has had for my constituents and the local businesses. The inclusion of the Mamaroneck-Sheldrake River project in this year’s WRDA will ensure that this vital project moves forward, bringing us one large step closer to fixing this issue.”

Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, and Representative Engel, who announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), at their urging reviewed and approved the Chief’s Report, said Congressional authorization of the project will allow USACE to move forward with the design and construction of the project to reduce flood risk for the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake River Basins, and thus protect residents and business owners from future flooding. The project, once complete, will include the construction of retaining walls and a diversion culvert, and will enable the deepening and widening of river channels, structure elevation, and the removal/replacement of 2 vehicular bridges that constrict flood flow.  According to the reps, the recommended plan is estimated to reduce average annual damages by approximately 87 percent and will help reduce the risk of loss of life.  The Congressional representatives vowed to see this project through to completion.

Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, and Representative Engel explained that in April 2007, a nor’easter storm produced record flooding in the Village of Mamaroneck, equivalent to the one percent flood event. The 2007 event caused over $50 million in damages and impacted over 50 percent of total structures within the study area. The storm resulted in floodwaters peaking on the Mamaroneck River in approximately four hours, and in approximately six hours on the Sheldrake River. As such, the evacuation time for approximately 19,000 residents in the Village of Mamaroneck was severely restricted and created a high-risk situation. Over 40 percent of Mamaroneck residents required evacuation assistance prior to floodwaters peaking, including a large population of children that attended a school located within the epicenter of the severe flooding. However, this was not the only flood event in the basin. Additionally, two deaths have occurred as a result of flooding in the project area in the last 25 years, most recently in 2007.

A copy of Schumer, Gillibrand, and Engel’s original letter appears below:

Dear Lt. Gen. Semonite,

We write to urge you to promptly review the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Chief’s Report on the flood risk management for the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake River Basins in the Village of Mamaroneck, New York. As you know, it has been recommended to authorize a plan to reduce flood risk through the construction of retaining walls and a diversion culvert, the deepening, and widening of river channels, structure elevation, and the removal/replacement of 2 vehicular bridges that constrict flood flow. The recommended plan is estimated to reduce average annual damages by approximately 87% and will help reduce the risk of loss of life. It is our hope that once the report has been reviewed, you will promptly sign and recommend the plan to reduce flood damage in the Village of Mamaroneck for Congress to authorize and fund the project.

In April 2007, a Nor’easter storm produced the flood of record for the Village of Mamaroneck, equivalent to the one percent flood event. The 2007 event caused over $50 million in damages and impacted over 50 percent of total structures within the study area. A one percent flood event, the storm’s resulted in floodwaters peaking on the Mamaroneck River in approximately four hours and in approximately six hours on the Sheldrake River. As such, the evacuation time for approximately 19,000 residents in the Village of Mamaroneck was severely restricted and created a high risk to life safety. Over forty percent of residents required evacuation assistance prior to floodwaters peaking including a large population of children that attend a school located within the area of the most severe flooding. However, this was not the only flood event in the basin. Two deaths have occurred as a result of flooding in the project area in the last 25 years, most recently in 2007.

We urge you to ensure the Chief’s Report on the flood risk management for the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake River Basins is promptly reviewed and signed so the project may move to the phase where Congress can act to authorize and fund this project.  As you know, a final Chief's Report must be approved in order for this project to move forward. A swift review of this project will help ensure continued commitment to the life safety of the residents of the Village of Mamaroneck, New York. Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator  

Kirsten Gillibrand                                                              

United States Senator 

Eliot L. Engel                                                                        

Member of Congress

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