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Harrison Suggests Building Three Dams

HARRISON, N.Y. – Harrison is hoping to solve its flooding problem sooner than later, with the board of trustees suggesting at Monday night work session that the town construct three dams. Though there is no formal proposal on the table, that didn’t prevent the Harrison trustees from coming up with a plan just in case money is made available.

Spearheaded by Town Engineer Michael Amodeo, the dams are suggested to be built near Louis M. Klein Middle School where the town owns several acres of land. Residents of the area as well as the Harrison Central School District have experienced severe flooding as recently as August 2011 because current town water pipes do not have the capacity to hold water brought by severe storms, the board said.

According to Amodeo, one dam would be located off of Genessee Trail, which would be 10 feet high, 300 feet long. The second dam would be located off of Shawnee Trail, and is suggested to be 16 feet high, 325 feet long.  The third dam, which would stand at 8 feet and stretch out an additional 200 feet long on Tamarac Trail, would separate two floodplains. If the project ever comes to fruition, Amodeo estimates that it would take 11 months to finish at a cost of approximately $1.5 million.

Currently, during severe storms, flood water will flow across parallel streets in the neighborhood and since the pipes can’t handle the large amount of water, it tends to flow into residents’ homes, Amodeo said.

“The biggest problem is when waterway banks rise up and overfill,” he said. “We have to tackle this issue because we know we have it all over town.”

Harrison resident Gerald Zaidman, who lives on nearby Indian Trail, said dams are a “good idea” since they have the potential to remediate the flood problem. Still, Zaidman would like to see the town clean out the drains so rainwater doesn’t block the sewers. Even though the town looked at areas of town-owned land, he said he thinks many homeowners would give the town access to study flood remediation on their properties.

“I urge Mr. Amodeo to contact the homeowners on Woodland Road and Sterling Ridge to find out who is willing to let the town look at their property,” Zaidman said.

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