State seeks FEMA cash for flood control projects in Capital Region
CAPITAL REGION Homes, roads and a hospital that sit behind the protection of aged flood control or water supply structures are being offered up by New York state as ideal candidates for the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Amsterdam’s Dove Creek flood wall and Cobleskill’s hilltop water supply reservoirs both made it onto a short list of projects U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer is calling on FEMA to consider a priority.
Along the Hudson River, the city of Troy needs major work on the Troy Seawall.
“These three projects would bring scores of benefits to residents nearby, from preventing future flood damage, to encouraging waterfront development,” Schumer said.
The state submitted grant applications for $3.1 million in work at the Cobleskill water supply reservoirs and another $1.1 million for repairing the Dove Creek flood wall that runs alongside St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam.
The wall is teetering in some places, busted and fallen in others. City property owners have complained to the city about the structure that’s supposed to guide the creek to the Mohawk River.
Cobleskill has been putting together plans for repairs at the water supply reservoirs and seeking grant funding for several years to begin upgrades.
One of the water supply’s biggest threats, Smith Reservoir, has a spillway that shows “signs of instability.”
Smith Reservoir, Dow Reservoir and Holding Pond all hold a “high hazard” rating in the state DEC’s Dam Safety program.
A $3.1 million project now under review by the Federal Emergency Management Agency would address several situations there, including the massive amount of silt and dirt forced into the reservoirs during major storms the past several years.
The infiltration of silt decreases the water supply system’s capacity at a time when a new addition is being built to bring water east of Cobleskill through Howes Cave.
The 92 year-old Troy Seawall, repaired in 1978, has been battered by several years of brutal weather. It’s the primary shield between the Hudson River and the city and a raw sewage line that runs alongside it.
A $6.7 million project being proposed would repair walls from State Street north along Riverfront Park, past the Green Island Bridge and up to Hutton Street, according to Schumer’s office.
In a letter to FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate, Schumer said projects up for review should be seen as essential.
“Given that the state of New York has given these projects top priority by being among the first projects submitted to FEMA for final review and approval, the significance of these projects and the effect they would have on mitigating future damage in New York’s Capital Region is substantial,” Schumer said in the letter.