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Hewlett Harbor flood plan sent to GOSR

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More than seven years after Hurricane Sandy struck the proposed flood mitigation plans in the Five Towns have yet to begin. Village of Hewlett Harbor officials said their plan is progressing. 

A stormwater infrastructure upgrade project application for the village of 1,288 people was received by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery. GOSR was established in 2013 to coordinate rebuilding after Tropical Storms Irene and Lee as well as Sandy. 

Hewlett Harbor Mayor Mark Weiss previously said the plan has been in the works for roughly five years. “The project would involve drainage and pipe work,” said Weiss, village mayor since 2006. “We’re moving along in the process.” The village hired Woodbury-based consulting firm D+B Engineers and Architects P.C. to conduct a study on drainage in the village. That study was completed in September 2014. 

The village had an 11-foot storm surge during Sandy that flooded roughly 140 homes and left village streets, such as Pepperidge Road, where Village Hall is, impassable. There are 440 homes in Hewlett Harbor. 

Work is planned to take place in the southern portion of the village south of Main Street and extending from Rose Lane to Birch Lane. The proposal also calls for the increasing the size of catch basins and the installation of backflow prevention devices that aim to mitigate flooding. There will also be pervious paving, which allows water to flow through the material, a rain garden and enlarging pipe capacity. 

GOSR Senior Environmental Manager James McAllister explained the goal of a stormwater infrastructure upgrade project. “These projects are put in place to help handle future stormwater better,” McAllister said. “We hope this will improve drainage conditions in the village that can alleviate potential flooding going forward.” 

According to McAllister, the project has a total cost of $3,330,496, of which the majority is being by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, he said. The remaining $390,496 will be covered by a grant by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

McAllister added that no public comments had been received as of the Jan. 3 deadline. “The next step for us is to review the public comments and look at the project from a SEQRA standpoint,” he said. “There is no set timetable for any shovels hitting the ground at the moment.” SEQRA is the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

The deadline for completion of all NY Rising projects is spring 2022. The seven Five Towns projects are at varying stages of development, with most “in design,” a phase in which engineers and officials analyze maps and data to determine how best to undertake a project. In comparison, construction for the Village of Lawrence’s flood mitigation plan is expected to begin in the coming months.

“We plan to have shovels in the ground sometime in the middle of spring,” Nassau County Planning Division project manager Joseph Cuomo said on Nov. 13. “Once it starts, were estimating the construction to take about a year.”

More information on the project can be obtained by contacting McAllister at (646) 256-9485 or James.McAllister@stormrecovery.ny.gov.