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Rep. Tom Suozzi seeks U.S. study of Throgs Neck flood gate plan

Rep. Tom Suozzi at the Jewish Community Relations

Rep. Tom Suozzi at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Long Island in Plainview on April 15, 2018. Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

ALBANY — Rep. Thomas Suozzi is calling on the federal government to hold public hearings on Long Island before proceeding with a proposal to install tidal gates across Long Island Sound to protect New York City from flooding.

The proposal would build massive tidal gates on the North Shore and be used in dramatic weather events and rising sea levels. The Army Corps has said tidal gates have worked for decades in Stamford, Connecticut; Bedford, Massachusetts; and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The gates would be closed for a few hours during a major storm or high tide, and otherwise would remain open or stored underwater.

The goal is to head off the kind of massive flooding in New York City like the deadly surge during superstorm Sandy. But Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said the proposal could hurt Nassau County.

North Shore residents have complained that the proposal would forever alter the landscape for several miles.

“I am particularly concerned about the potential for induced coastal flooding that could result from construction of a barrier that would close off Long Island Sound near the Throgs Neck Bridge,” Suozzi wrote the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week. “The sound is healthier than it has been in decades. The federal government has a responsibility to avoid, minimize and mitigate any action it takes that would impact the environment.”

He called for public hearings and a review of not just the area where the gates would be built, “but the impacts on areas immediately outside the study area, including those on my district.”

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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