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Lindenhurst moves forward on decades-old flooding problems

West Lake Drive in Lindenhurst is flooded on

West Lake Drive in Lindenhurst is flooded on Oct. 18, 2009. A comprehensive drainage infrastructure master plan has been completed by village officials, who are using it to submit proposed projects to the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery. Photo Credit: James Carbone

Lindenhurst Village now has a guide to use to address decades-old flooding problems on South Shore streets.

A comprehensive drainage infrastructure master plan has been completed and the village has used it to submit proposed projects to the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.

The study, which cost $168,500 and was done by Nelson & Pope Engineers of Melville, is the first-ever extensive analysis of the village’s entire drainage system.

The plan is one of many flood mitigation strategies that came out of months of community reconstruction meetings following superstorm Sandy. The village was awarded $6.1 million in federal funds, of which $2.85 million was set aside for the plan as well as all aspects of the projects.

The plan identified more than $60 million in fixes, so the village had to prioritize. “We said let’s try to target some of the immediate, well-known problem areas,” said Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane.

Check valves to control water flow were touted in the study due to their relatively low cost: $30,000 to $60,000 each versus $300 to $400 per square foot of new bulkheading or $3,000 to $4,000 per linear foot of road raising.

The village is pursuing several suggestions: installing check valves; upgrading and repairing bulkheading; raising roads; reconstructing culverts and outfalls; installing leaching structures; and cleaning out existing structures systemwide.

Of these, the village has offered specific locations only for the leaching structures, aimed for along Albany Avenue and Buffalo Avenue.

“We’re not going to put all of our resources into one particular street or area,” Cullinane said. “We’re looking to see where we can move the available funds around to have the biggest impact for the entire South Shore.”

The state will now work with the village to determine which streets will be addressed. The state will be in charge of hiring an engineer, designing the work and bidding it out for construction. The federal funding must be spent by 2019.

For some locations identified by the study — such as Muncy Avenue and East John Street — village officials decided they could not wait and are moving ahead with work using other sources of funding.

Many residents have said their street flooding has worsened since Sandy with water coming up more heavily during high tides and heavy rains, and the water staying for much longer.

The study confirmed this, noting that the storm drainage infrastructure was so damaged by Sandy that “numerous systems are no longer able to efficiently drain the roadways and adjacent properties during regular rainfall events” or prevent canal and bay backflow.

Residents remain unsure if the proposed projects will have any impact.

Ann Bard, who has lived on Knoll Street for 17 years, said she is not optimistic.

“I don’t mean to sound negative, but so many things have been said that haven’t been done,” she said.

Patricia Parez, who has lived on Pacific Street since 1966, said she hopes the work will mitigate decades of flooding.

“If they can do it, let them get at it, I’m ready for it,” she said. “I don’t think they’ll ever stop all the water, but they can control a lot of it.”

FIXING FLOODING PROBLEMS

Here’s how Lindenhurst Village plans to spend $2.85 million in federal disaster recovery money:

  • Clean out existing structures systemwide: $250,000
  • Culvert and outfall reconstruction at multiple locations: $400,000
  • Installation of leaching structures along Albany Avenue and Buffalo Avenue: $400,000
  • Road raising: $500,000
  • Check valve installation at multiple locations: $650,000
  • Bulkhead repair and upgrade at multiple locations: $650,000

Source: Village of Lindenhurst

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