Schumer Calls on FEMA to Approve $40 Million in Fed Sandy Relief for Island Park to Build Critical Storm Mitigation Improvements

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Plan for New Seawall & Drainage Pipe Will Better Protect from Future Storms

Island Park, NY - July 7, 2014 - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today joined former Senator Al D’Amato and called on FEMA to fund a $40 million project with federal Hurricane Sandy relief funds for a major flood protection project in the Village of Island Park, including the construction of a seawall, new drainage pipes and more. The project application was recently submitted by New York State to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and this critical first phase would consist of a comprehensive engineering study and plans for mitigation improvements such as tide gates, replacement of bulkhead and road-raising on roads that suffer from chronic flooding. These storm protection methods are sorely needed as the Village of Island Park was inundated with tremendous storm-surge of approximately six to eight feet of water and sustained damage. Sandy brought a 6 to 8 foot storm surge, which damaged 95% of homes, two schools, a public library and a number of stores.
 
“The Village of Island Park suffered immense damage during Sandy—homes, businesses and school buildings were destroyed and livelihoods were trounced by surging flood waters,” said Schumer. “This much-needed flood protection project will help ensure that the Village does not remain exposed to future storms in the same way, and will focus on developing the best resiliency efforts available, like new drainage pipes, bulkhead replacements and raised roads, to help ensure that homes, businesses, and schools are not damaged like that again. I am urging FEMA to fund this high-priority Hazard Mitigation grant application for the Village of Island Park, which was one of the hardest hit communities on Long Island during Sandy.”
 
"Island Park was devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Still today, people have not returned to their homes and Village Hall continues to operate out of a trailer. Our infrastructure suffered tremendous damage. This HMGP grant is critically important and we need FEMA to expedite these funds. I thank Sen. Schumer for making it a priority and fighting every day for the people of Island Park,” said former U.S. Senator Al D’Amato.
 
"This grant will provide future protection to not only us but our future child and our children's children.  Thank God for Senator Schumer and D'Amato and their work to preserve the vital existence of the residents of Island Park,” said Mayor McGinty.
 
The village of Island Park is made up of over 1,000 homes. Superstorm Sandy damaged two schools within the village of Island Park as well as an administration building and the library. Approximately ninety-five percent of homes in the village were damaged by the storm.
 
The Village of Island Park’s proposed project begins with a critical comprehensive engineering study which will include a thorough field examination of the drainage system and existing municipal bulkheads. The purpose of the study is to bring in experts that can develop the best strategy for making the community more resilient.
 
Specifically, during the engineering study, pipe conditions will be examined to locate defects. Stormwater runoff volumes will be calculated for differing storm events to determine pipe sizes. Overall, the study will recommend drainage pipe replacement in areas where pipe sizes are inadequate for storm flow, where insufficient storage is available within the drainage system to prevent surcharging into local roadways and impacting improved properties and where pipes are determined to be damaged.
 
Additionally, all drainage inlet structures will be examined and evaluated for replacement. The use of swirl separators will be evaluated to capture and retain floatable materials carried by the storm water in order to prevent them from entering the drainage system. Drainage pipe outfalls will be protected by a rubber tide gate to act as a check valve to prevent the inflow of tidal water into the drainage system during high tides.
 
Existing municipal bulkheads will be examined and recommendations will be made in order to protect and preserve the existing shoreline and properties against future storm events. Lastly, streets within the village that currently experience chronic flooding will be evaluated for a potential road raising project and drainage piping will be installed on roads where it does not currently exist.
 
Schumer said that this application will then allow actual construction of new bulkheads, roads and drainage pipes, to move forward and better protect the community against future storms.
 
FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant program provides funding under Section 406 of the Stafford Act, the federal disaster law that supplies aid to states and localities to implement long-term resiliency measures after a major disaster. The purpose of these grants is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster. Normally, without these grants, FEMA will only provide enough funds for a locality to rebuild using the same specifications as the original structure.
 
Schumer today called on FEMA to fund the Village of Island Park’s HMGP application. Schumer explained that this funding will allow for mitigation upgrades in the village so that the community is better protected in the future.
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