Army Corps of Engineers proposes plan to build severe storm barriers

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The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a plan to build barriers in the New York Harbor to protect Hudson Valley communities from severe storms.

A meeting was held on the topic at the Hudson Valley Community Center in Poughkeepsie.

It was the fifth meeting this week on the topic but the only meeting in the Hudson Valley.  Some say they are upset that none of the meetings were held in Westchester or Rockland counties.

The Army Corps of Engineers is presenting five options to protect the region's waterfront against storms like Superstorm Sandy. Four of the plans involve a storm surge barrier.

The controversial idea would cost $20 billion to build. Environmentalists say they fear it would hurt the Hudson River, which is an estuary for many species from the Atlantic Ocean. That includes some species that are endangered.

The barrier being proposed would run from Sandy Hook in New Jersey to Breezy Point in Queens.

The Army Corps of Engineers is studying 25 counties, including several in the Hudson Valley, as they search for a solution to reduce flood risks.

Sen. Terrence Murphy says he feels the Army Corps of Engineers is fast-tracking the study that could permanently change the Hudson River. He's also calling on the agency to hold meetings in Westchester County.

They say they plan to hold more meetings but did not specify where.

The agency hopes to release a draft report on the study this fall.

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