A look at improvements made since Sandy to protect against next '100-year storm'

It took almost a decade from storm to finish, but several projects to help alleviate flooding along the Saw Mill and Bronx rivers along with the Sprain Brook watersheds are now complete.

Jonathan Gordon

Oct 17, 2022, 8:21 PM

Updated 589 days ago

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New York and Yonkers have finally wrapped up $3 million worth of flood mitigation projects after Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy devastated significant parts of Westchester's largest city.
It took almost a decade from storm to finish, but several projects to help alleviate flooding along the Saw Mill and Bronx rivers along with the Sprain Brook watersheds are now complete. The work wrapped up over the summer.
It comes just shy of 10 years after storm surges as high as 14 feet during Superstorm Sandy led to record-level flooding in Yonkers.
"This endangered residents and public infrastructure. It flooded roadways," says Katie Brennan, executive director of the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery.
Work included improving the berms at Odell and Clunie avenues to prevent flooding, reconstructing streams by regrading the riverbanks to increase capacity and removing dams and debris along the rivers to eliminate potential chokepoints and blockages.
"So that when we get the big storm events, they're not immediately overrun," says Brennan.
Several sections in Yonkers have faced decades of flooding problems - which was evident during Hurricane Ida last year.
With these projects behind them, the city is looking ahead to other ways to prevent its neighborhoods from flooding. It includes creating underground storage for stormwater overflow, installing automated pumps to clear water from the neighborhoods back into the river and possibly reconstructing the Metro-North bridge near the Bronxville train station.
The city is currently applying for state and federal grants to move those ideas ahead.


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