Flood mitigation project hits roadblock in Mamaroneck
Bernie Canarda's phone is full of photos showing the flood damage that has impacted his Mamaroneck home.
He and his wife have lived in the village for more than 20 years, experiencing three major floods - including Ida.
"Ida, we got 12 inches of water on the first floor," he said. "We lost everything - photos from past, some of the things are priceless you lose in a flood."
Stories like this are common for homeowners who live near the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake rivers.
In January 2022, $88 million in federal funding was secured to start an Army Corps of Engineer project to mitigate the flooding.
As residents wait for that project to take shape, the village has since allocated $1.3 million to dredge the rivers last cleared of silt and debris more than a decade ago.
That plan hit a roadblock this week regarding an application seeking a permit to do the work from the Department of Environmental Conservation.
"What we are asking for is the ability to help ourselves. The rivers are clogged with debris and silt, but we simply want to go in and clean and maintain them," said Lou Young, deputy mayor and trustee.
The DEC's letter states the agency is conducting a Resilient NY Stream Study on the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake rivers and would like to wait for completion of that study before any dredging starts.
The letter also requested the village to make corrections to its application.
Residents are frustrated and want to see some action taken soon.
"As residents, we can't wait on another hurricane season, we can't wait another time," said Canarda.
Village officials will be meeting with DEC officials next week and say they hope a compromise can be worked out so some work can start.
"DEC is committed to working with the village of Mamaroneck to address ongoing and recent flooding issues as part of statewide efforts to advance proven and innovative strategies and make investments to address flooding to protect public safety and the environment," the DEC said in a statement to News 12. "The Jan. 24, 2023, correspondence from DEC was not a final decision of the village’s permit application, but rather technical comments on the village’s application and items required for a complete application. This is a priority project for DEC and staff anticipates meeting with village officials and other appropriate agencies in the coming weeks to identify a solution to address this issue."