Westchester hires flood mitigation director to tackle escalating issue

Over the last few years, News 12 has reported on several devastating storms, including Hurricane Ida.

Jonathan Gordon

Jun 12, 2024, 9:24 PM

Updated 30 days ago

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The Westchester Planning Department has hired Dean Tarulli to serve as the county's director of flood mitigation and resiliency to combat the problem that is not going away.
The devastating impacts of flooding can be felt from Yonkers to Greenburgh – Yorktown to the Sound Shore. Climate change, aging infrastructure and urbanization have all contributed to this issue which has only grown more common in recent years.
"It's all over Westchester," Anna Herrera, who works at La Esquina Salvadoreña in Mamaroneck said through a translator.
News 12 stopped by La Esquina Salvadoreña on Wednesday nine months after the deli was devasted by flooding in Mamaroneck.
"It affected us a lot," Herrera said. "The basement was filled with a lot of water. We lost a lot of stuff."
It has taken months for the business to get back up and running at full capacity. Their story is one of many across the county from homeowners and business owners going through the same thing.
Over the last few years, News 12 has reported on several devastating storms, including Hurricane Ida that turned parkways into rivers, forced home evacuations by boat and flushed out downtowns.
Tarulli previously worked in the New York state Office of Storm Recovery and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"People's lives have been really impacted, communities have been devastated, people have been moved out of their homes," he said. “They brought me in to focus on finding solutions for those problems."
His new role will include developing and managing flood prevention and mitigation projects, addressing concerns from local municipalities and maximizing state and federal funding in communities plagued with flooding issues.
"It's going to be easier for us to coordinate with all of the municipalities and get them the funding they need; get them the technical services they need and push for federal money," he said.


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