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Irvington News

State Awards Irvington $1,136,000 To Mitigate Barney Creek Flooding

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December 30, 2022

By Barrett Seaman—

Longtime residents of the rivertowns know all too well that water flows east to west—down from the high ridge that separates the Saw Mill River from the Hudson. Gathering in the streams and creeks that find passage down from the hilltop ponds and reservoirs, stormwater of even moderate proportions can wreak havoc as it reaches the most populated areas along Broadway. On the south side of Irvington, the culprit is Barney Creek and its tributary, which join forces just east of Broadway.

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One recent study concluded that Irvington can expect at least one flood a year. Another study calculated that 12% of village homeowners have a better than a one-in-four chance of being severely affected by flooding over the next 30 years.

As 2022 came to an end, however, the village got good news from Albany. As part of the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Smart Communities Grant program, Irvington will receive $1,136,000 to design and construct drainage systems along Harriman Road, which roughly parallels the creek as it runs down from the reservoir.

The much-needed money comes from out of a total of $11.6 million awarded to 25 municipalities statewide, of which Irvington had the third largest portion.

The village made its case for the grant through the state’s Consolidated Funding Application process—a chore as cumbersome as it sounds. Village officials were apparently persuasive, aided in their efforts by a torrent of evidence of dangerous flooding, dating back over the years. Most recently, there was a microburst in July 0f 2021, followed by Hurricane Ida at the end of August, when, as the submission noted, the storm “washed the entire Harriman Road sidewalk away.”

There were also economic and social impacts of the flooding, given the heavy flow of commercial traffic on Broadway, and the adjacency of two housing complexes and a property “permitted for affordable housing.” In 2013, Broadway was closed off entirely for hours, right at the point where Harriman Road intersects and connects and crosses over to Station Road, one of only two roads into the village itself.

By rightsizing the drainage and sewer systems designed to provide flood protection for both the residents of Harriman Road and the road itself, Irvington can significantly reduce the dangers everyone was aware of but couldn’t afford to without help from a larger branch of the government. Now they have it.

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