Letters to the editor

Residents of Greenburgh Ask the Town Board for Help Lifting up their Homes so They Won’t be Flooded Again

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September 24, 2021

On Thursday, Sept. 23, I met with residents of Florence/Warren in the Fairview section of town. They also asked for help lifting up their homes. Some residents who live on Clarendon Place in Edgemont also want to participate in a program to life up their homes. Earlier this week I reached out to residents around the the town who live in neighborhoods that experienced significant flooding and asked if they would like to participate in this option. I expect many others who live in the town to also want to take advantage of this program.

The town of Greenburgh will help residents navigate the FEMA application process for lifting up homes. We are in discussion with an engineering consultant firm that we have used in the past that has experience working with FEMA.  We want to provide residents who experienced losses with expert help so they can get the funding they need from FEMA, the building permits from the town and the construction started as soon as possible.  This option, for many, is the most practical approach to address flooding problems. We still will try to help minimize flooding around town.

According to FEMA, one of the most common retrofitting methods is elevating a house to a required or desired Flood Protection Elevation (FPE). When a house is properly elevated, the living area will be above all but the most severe floods (such as the 500-year flood). Several elevation techniques are available. In general, they involve (1) lifting the house and building a new, or extending the existing, foundation below it or (2) leaving the house in place and either building an elevated floor within the house or adding a new upper story. During the elevation process, most frame, masonry veneer, and masonry houses are separated from their foundations, raised on hydraulic jacks, and held by temporary supports while a new or extended foundation is constructed below. The living area is raised and only the foundation remains exposed to flooding. This technique works well for houses originally built on basement, crawlspace, and open foundations. When houses are lifted with this technique, the new or extended foundation can consist of either continuous walls or separate piers, posts, columns, or pilings. Masonry houses are more difficult to lift, primarily because of their design, construction, and weight, but lifting these homes is possible. In fact, numerous contractors throughout the United States regularly perform this work.

Residents of Greenburgh who are interested in exploring the feasibility of lifting up their homes to avoid flooding should e-mail Supervisor Paul Feiner at pfeiner@greenburghny.com or call (914) 989-1540. FEMA will be at the Greenburgh Library this Saturday 9-5!  If you experienced any flooding damages this is a great opportunity to get the financial help you need from the FEMA professionals. 

Here is the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/226Uwj8mcxE  Residents of Babbitt Court making an emotional appeal for help some are homeless due to the flood. They lost everything.

Paul Feiner
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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