Mt. Vernon mayor blames flooding on stormwater system after city declares state of emergency

City officials say Mount Vernon had 4 to 5 inches of rain in less than an hour. They say the downpour was too much for the city's stormwater system to manage.

News 12 Staff

Jun 3, 2022, 9:21 AM

Updated 724 days ago

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Mount Vernon residents faced flooding and significant damage after heavy rains Thursday caused a state of emergency in the city.
City officials say Mount Vernon had 4 to 5 inches of rain in less than an hour. They say the downpour was too much for the city's stormwater system to manage.
Mount Vernon has more than 80 storm drains that go into the Hutchinson and Bronx rivers. When they flood, the water gets backed up.
"Unfortunately, that water backs up, pushes up through manholes, pushes up through drainage systems, comes into homes, businesses, city-owned buildings and rushes down the streets,” says Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard.
City officials ask any residents who experienced damage to their home or business to document it with photos and video, which will help in getting assistance from FEMA.
Cleanup efforts were underway Friday, and Department of Public Works crews were out assessing damage to streets.
They were also removing the debris covering drains to get water flowing back into the system.
Those crews are joined by the state's Office of Emergency Management.
The flooding comes as the city works to assess and replace its century-old sewer system.
Residents say those repairs, which will likely take years, couldn't come soon enough.
Mount Vernon now has the money tackle its crumbling sewer system. In April, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the state was allocating $150 million to help Mount Vernon tackle its chronic sewer system issues.  


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