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Engineer Pleased As Harrison Handles Flooding Issues

HARRISON, N.Y. – Town Engineer Mike Amodeo is pleased with Harrison’s progress in dealing with the many issues brought by floods, but he wants to go a step further.

“I think we’ve come a long way in a short amount of time related to what has happened in past years in the town,” said Amodeo, who has been town engineer since 2009.

He is looking to gain approval from the Town Board on Thursday night to attend a certified floodplain manager review course with assistant engineer Frank Balbi. Taking the free course would allow them to take the $100 certified floodplain manager exam Oct. 3. Funds in the Engineering Department's operating budget would cover the cost of the exam.

“It’s a very specific, detailed certification,” Amodeo said. The position would keep them up to date on “the detailed information and analysis process of all the flooding issues.”

“Since we are obviously dealing with a lot of flooding and flood issues in depth in Harrison, we thought it was a logical next step to become certified floodplain managers,” he said.

Amodeo is pleased the 3 Dam Project, which was proposed in February and had survey work completed in May, is in the design process. “We’re looking to wrap that up by the end of the year and hopefully move on construction on that project,” he said.

The project will build three dams: off Genessee Trail, Shawnee Trail and Tamarac Trail. The dams were proposed because during severe storms, floodwater flows across parallel streets because the pipes can’t handle the volume of water.

Harrison’s Engineering Department is also doing a watershed study on Harrison's problem flood areas.

“That was to look at the flooding in a global position,” said Amodeo. “Not just zoom in on one street, look at the whole thing to try and develop a master plan. So we could have long-term planning and have a direction on what needs to be done.”

The Engineering Department is “looking to find the correct answers” through conceptual projects, he said.

"It’s been a very complicated issue, and there’s a lot of pieces to the puzzles,” said Amodeo. “There’s a lot of obstacles and along the way we’ve gotten lucky in certain instances where we found answers to things and overcome some obstacles. It’s a really in-depth puzzle.”

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