FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — With worries about Hurricane Matthew coming up the east coast, some Long Island officials said they will expand a pilot project that has reduced street flooding in the village of Freeport.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, a specially designed valve is preventing storm drain backups.
Freeport Village Mayor Robert Kennedy (D) pointed to before and after photos of the same intersection showing that a new technology employed in sewer drains is cutting down on street flooding.
“If you have heavy rains and high tide this will pump that water back into the bay and prevent that flooding,” Kennedy said.
Mayor Kennedy said the valve — designed by a Pennsylvania manufacturer — can block surging bay waters that often leave village residents frustrated by overflowing sewers.
“Garbage coming up onto your street, and you can’t drive through. It’s ruining cars, you have to worry about coming into your house,” Megan Martinez said.
Pam Walsh-Boening is still elevating her bay-side home which was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy’s Floodwaters. She said the constant street flooding makes it difficult for anyone to sell their home.
“They will ask you what type of flooding do you incur during full moon and high tide. You basically have to be honest and tell them it is a problem and it does flood,” she said.
The mayor said a new, nearly $800,000 grant will allow the village to place the valves in every sewer storm drain.
With Matthew wrecking island nations in the Caribbean and now heading for the east coast, the mayor admitted the valve system would do little against a direct hit.
“All bets are off, however when we have a named storm where the water will exceed the bulkheads, extreme storms at high tide, the waters will exceed the bulkheads,” he said.
The mayor said that he believes the flood gates will need to be built in bay waters to protect against the ocean’s storm surge. Right now, a $3.5-million federal study is underway to see if it’s feasible.