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Army Corps to Re-Examine Mamaroneck Flood Control

Based on a release from the office of Westchester County Legislator Judy Myers

A hard driving rain that filled many a local basement on Monday, May 3 was a fitting prop to the signing of a $6.1 million flood control agreement in Mamaroneck Village between federal, state and county agencies.

Among those witnessing the signing was U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who helped obtain federal funding for the project; Westchester County Legislator Judy Myers; Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe; and Mamaroneck Village Mayor Norman Rosenblum.

A cost-sharing agreement is signed by (l-r) Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, Army Corps of Engineers Colonel John Boule, and NYSDEC Commissioner Pete Grannis. Looking on is Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum, Westchester County Legislator Judy Myers, U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Valerie O'Keeffe. Photo courtesy of Congresswoman Lowey's office.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will undertake a study to re-examine options for controlling flows from the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake River drainage basins that are the source of flooding in Mamaroneck Village. The Army Corps will partner with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Westchester County.

The study will re-evaluate a flood mitigation project originally authorized in 1986 but never started because of its cost.  In the meantime, changes in the rivers’ flows and environment have made another study necessary before forging ahead with such a project.

The first draft of the Corps of Engineers’ report is expected to be completed after 30 months, half-way through the five-year process.

While eliminating flooding entirely may not be possible, Ms. Myers said the re-evaluation of the drainage basin signals an important step in ultimately reducing the impact of flooding on Mamaroneck.

The study will explore ways of reducing the risk of flooding in the Village of Mamaroneck through identifying a recommended plan, completing an environmental impact statement and preparing specifications for the first construction contract. Construction will require new funding approvals, and a new agreement with the state.

“This is a terrific milestone in what has been a long and arduous journey to find funding for and solutions to Mamaroneck’s ongoing flooding problems,” Legislator Myers said.

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2 comments to Army Corps to Re-Examine Mamaroneck Flood Control

  • Ralph Engel

    The Army Corps of Engineers, to the best of my knowledge, worked with New Rochelle, the Town of Mamaroneck and the Village of Larchmont, back in the 1920s, to build the Pine Brook Culvert, which connects New Rochelle’s Pinebrook and Beechmont Lake with Larchmont’s Pine Brook, and flows into the Premium River and the Sound.
    For decades, due to increased building in Scarsdale and New Rochelle, the Pine Brook Culvert has been increasingly overloaded with water during storms.
    In addition, rather than designing it to get larger as more water poured into it, as is typical, for some unknown reason the people who designed and built the Pine Brook Culvert have it getting narrower as it approaches the Premium River. To the surprise of no one but those who designed the Culvert this causes water backups, and that causes flooding, especially along Larchmont’s Pine Brook Drive and in other parts of Larchmont.
    Where is the Army Corps of Engineers now, when they should be doing for the Pine Brook Culvert and the area it floods what it is doing for the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake River Basin? Where are Nita Lowey and Judy Myers, who have been asked, over and over, to do for the Pine Brook Culvert and the Larchmont area it floods what they are apparently happily doing for the Sheldrake/Mamaroneck area?
    Why do Nita and Judy so often ignore us?

  • Sushi Says

    FYI Mr. Engel; for the record, the Sheldrake River and the Larchmont Gardens lake area, specifically around the Brookside Drive vicinity, had been an utter MESS for decades before the Army Corps of Engineers moved in to “help”. And after many failed attempts to dredge the Duck Pond, and the ‘brook” the ACE finally got it right. But it was no quick fix – believe you me!! Growing up in that area, was always an adventure – don’t get me wrong – but any major rain storm would completely and utterly flood not only the Larchmont Gardens Lake (aka the Duck Pond) area and the “Brook” but the Sheldrake River would constantly overflow and wreak havoc on the surrounding homes – causing everyone in the area to go out and buy a sump pump for our basements – the damage to furniture and the insurance costs were insurmountable, and sky rocketing respectively. In fact, cars often couldn’t drive around the neighborhoods there and we had to use little plastic row boats to get around. Yes, it sounds exciting – but it was actually quite dangerous in retrospect with power lines down and water, water everywhere!

    What you see today is a vast improvement from what those of us who grew up in the area had to suffer through years and years of the Sheldrake River flooding issues -and the inability of the Army Corps of Engineers to rectify for a very costly and lengthy time period. I am not surprised that the Pinebrook area is still a mess. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think it’s time for a new plan of action. Clearly, the ACE is not making it happen. Bridges are built in Japan in a day – why can’t 30 -= 40 years be enough time to fix the flooding issues in Larchmont/Mam’k? I can’t believe it’s that complicated to find a sustainable solution!