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LI Officials Launch Pilot Program To Prevent South Shore Flooding

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BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Some residents on Long Island’s South Shore are fed up with years of flooded streets.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, one town is trying to stem the tide with a unique solution.

“We’re trapped down here, we’re like held hostage when it’s flooded. You can’t go in, can’t go out,” Babylon homeowner Sean Regan said.

Regan and his taxpaying neighbors on West Harrison Avenue in Babylon say they have been griping for decades about their flooded streets.

Residents contend saltwater from the Great South Bay creeps up driveways, corroding cars and damaging yards and foundations whenever they get substantial rain.

The homeowners said following some full moons, high tides and nor’easters, they need boats to maneuver through dozens of neighborhoods south of Montauk Highway.

“Hopefully, we have boots that are high enough and we have to wade down the street to our cars to go to work,” said Vincent Fiore.

But help may be on the way, McLogan reported.

A new pilot program under way is testing whether a 12-inch, $4,000 in-line check valve on basin pipes could help solve the anger and frustrations facing many homeowners.

“It’s basically just a little trap door. When it rains, like currently today it’s raining, the water could go into the drain. It’ll be able to run back out into the bay the way it’s supposed to,” Babylon Waterways supervisor Brian Zitani told McLogan.

When baywater rises, the flapper closes and prevents the saltwater from flooding the streets.

Four of the valves are being evaluated in the villages of Babylon, Lindenhurst, Copiague and Amity Harbor, McLogan reported.

In the past, water management experts from Montauk to Merrick have struggled with solutions to help eliminate street flooding, with little to no success.

In many cases, the infrastructure is 100 years old, McLogan reported.

“The town says they’re hoping it works and so are we,” said Fiore.

In Babylon alone, 200 problem locations in need of drainage help affecting thousands of homeowners have been identified.

Water officials in Babylon are holding off on buying and installing more of the $4,000 valves until their efficacy can be evaluated.

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