To the Editor:
Recently, I have been fascinated reading about significant amounts of New York state monies being designated to assist South Valley Stream for repairs to damage caused by Superstorm Sandy and for infrastructure construction in preparation for future such storms. I am fascinated because nowhere do I see references to Gibson, the most southern part of Valley Stream.
Perhaps this omission of Gibson results from the general knowledge and awareness that Gibson has no history of flooding and has, for the most part, gone unscathed by such events within memory and beyond. Of course, that begs the question why Senator Schumer, Mayor Fare and the trustees of the village accepted the newly proposed FEMA flood maps for implementation without seeking out and requiring independent scientific verification. Perhaps the senator, the mayor and trustees have some sixth sense that enables them to see high-risk flood areas in places where there is no history of flooding.
In any case, they determined that flood-zone maps leaving almost 900 homeowners in Valley Stream in the high-risk flood zone should be accepted and implemented. I would assume that they believe the maps to be accurate. It would certainly be strange and questionable if they voted to accept maps that they believed to be inaccurate. However, with that vote of acceptance, they now have an obligation to do what town and other officials are doing for residents of the unincorporated part of Valley Stream. They should be using their offices to seek all possible aid and assistance from the state and federal government for infrastructure improvements to protect the approximately 900 homes that they believe are high risk and therefore potentially in harm’s way.
If they did not believe those homes and the families were faced with high risk, one would have expected them not to vote for the approval and implementation of the new flood-zone maps. It is now time for Senator Schumer and elected officials of the village to either protect the affected citizens by securing infrastructure improvements and perhaps even flood insurance subsidies, or to arrange for the removal of the flood zone residents in Valley Stream from the designation.
I own a home and live in the high-risk flood zone located in Gibson. I expect my elected officials to secure monies from the state and federal government for aid such as that being planned for Mill Brook and North Woodmere. I am anxiously awaiting an announcement from the mayor that he is not going to stop working until Gibson has the improvements we need to cope with the high-risk designation that he and all of the trustees voted to support.
Residents who are registered voters should monitor this situation closely. You should only vote for incumbents who produce concrete assistance for residents of the high risk flood zone.
Joseph B. Margolin