Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, and...

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, and state Sen. Todd Kaminsky at Brook Road Park on March 9, 2018, to unveil new flood prevention plans in Valley Stream. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Hempstead Town officials are planning to use $3.7 million in state storm grants to add new bulkheads and to raise shorelines in Valley Stream.

The town is using the funds from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, to build new vinyl bulkheads along Brook Road Park and restore tidal wetlands and marshes to create a natural flood prevention barrier along the coastline.

Hempstead workers plan to begin work in May as part of a total of $60 million in state funding for the town for storm recovery projects after superstorm Sandy.

State and local officials gathered Friday in Brook Road Park, which flooded during storms this winter.

“The flood prevention and resiliency plan that we are unveiling today in Valley Stream are blueprints for a brighter future as we deal with climate change,” Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said. “The installation of new vinyl bulkheads are vitally important to helping mitigate future flooding.”

Valley Stream residents on the shoreline were inundated with flooding during superstorm Sandy and during localized storms like the past two nor’easters that have struck the South Shore.

The Valley Stream project along Hook Creek and Brook Road Park is expected to be completed in the next year. Town workers will replace the existing wooden bulkhead that lines the creek bank with vinyl bulkheads and extend around homes that currently have no protection. The vinyl sidings are expected to last longer than wood sidings, which have a life span of about 20 years, Gillen said.

State funding will also go toward clearing invasive species to expand tidal wetlands, a pedestrian boardwalk and elevated berms along Hook Creek.

Crews will raise the banks around Jamaica Bay by 7 feet to protect homes and businesses from storm surges and flooding, officials said.

“All of Long Island and the South Shore is fighting against the water,” Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) said. “That’s what It’s going to be about, and we’re going to need real ingenuity and an open mind about how we’re investing in our community to do that.”

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