When Sandy walloped much of our region -- leaving death, destruction and darkness -- the superstorm reclaimed parts of the waterfront, flooded critical infrastructure and wiped out entire communities.
Many parts of the Hudson Valley got off easy, especially compared with the ravaged areas of the South Shore of Nassau and Suffolk counties, the Rockaways in Queens, and lower Manhattan and Staten Island. But the Hudson River did surge, anywhere from 6 feet to 10 feet in some parts of Westchester and Rockland counties, and battered communities in Stony Point, Piermont, Yonkers and all along our waterfronts.
The next big storm may not be so forgiving to our quaint riverfront villages, rail lines and vulnerable infrastructure. Many living along the Hudson River suffered damage from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011, or any number of weather events in recent years. Nor'easters, hurricanes and tropical storms are leaving their marks with greater frequency.
We need to look at these problems regionally and not as isolated events. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) made that point in Irvington on Tuesday. He argued that the comprehensive flooding study that will be done by the Army Corps of Engineers -- $20 million already appropriated by Congress and now in its planning stages -- should include communities along the 150 miles of the Hudson River, which is tied to ocean tides and affected by rising sea levels.
Schumer and other members of New York's congressional delegation must ensure that the Hudson Valley is included in any federally funded analysis, especially as the Corps advances its efforts over the next 24 months.
If the Army Corps is going to do study flood-prone areas, it has to consider all waterfront communities. In this case, a rising tide does affect us all.