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Schumer, D'Amato request FEMA flood mitigation funds for Island Park

Damage done by Hurricane Sandy across the LIRR

Damage done by Hurricane Sandy across the LIRR tracks from Island Park on Barnum Island, here at 100 Empire Blvd., Nov. 1, 2012. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Sen. Charles Schumer and former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato on Monday called for $40 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund a flood protection project in the Village of Island Park, including construction of a seawall and new drainage pipes.

"Island Park suffered immense damage during [superstorm] Sandy," Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a news conference in the village. "This . . . flood protection project will help ensure that the village does not remain exposed to future storms in the same way. I am urging FEMA to fund this high-priority Hazard Mitigation grant application for . . . Island Park."

New York State recently submitted the project application to FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, and this first phase would consist of a comprehensive engineering study and plans for mitigation improvements such as tidal gates, bulkhead replacement and raising roads that suffer from chronic flooding.

"We received the HMGP submission and are working with the state on reviewing it," FEMA spokesman Donald Caetano said.

When Sandy struck, 95 percent of Island Park's roughly 1,000 homes were damaged, as well as two schools, a public library and a number of stores.

"Island Park was devastated by superstorm Sandy. Still today, people have not returned to their homes, and Village Hall continues to operate out of a trailer," D'Amato said.

While County Executive Edward Mangano was not at the news conference, he later said: "It is critical that the federal government help strengthen local infrastructure so that Island Park is better protected from flooding and future tidal surges."

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