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Letter: Westbury Not Alone In Flooding Problem

With the rash of severe weather that we have had recently, we saw flash street flooding in a number of areas of the village. Some of these areas have been prone to flooding in the past and other areas had not had any past flooding issues. Many homes (including mine) had basement flooding.

The more frequent severe weather, which we have seen in the past several years, has shown us that our drainage system, by and large, works fine in most instances. However, in the most severe weather, where rainfall totals are high in a very short period of time (common during severe thunderstorms), all of Nassau’s drainage facilities are overmatched. We have seen and heard reports from all over Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk) of increased flooding incidents. Westbury is not alone in this problem.

Contributing to the issue is that many village streets rely on county or town drainage systems to accommodate rainwater runoff during storms. We have to coordinate with the county and town to make sure that their facilities are kept clear of debris (so as not to impede the flow of water) and that flow rates are what they should be.

In the village, we have performed a number of drainage repairs and improvements over the past several years, and we have eradicated many of the most serious flooding issues. We still have several persistent flooding issues that we are continuing to work on and these recent storms have allowed us to identify some additional areas of concern that we will need to keep an eye on. Even though some flood prone areas flooded in the previous weeks, because of our remediation efforts at some of these locations, the flood waters receded much more quickly than in the past. For their part, residents should check their properties to make sure that their drainage wells (if any) are clear of debris and functioning, that their gutters and leaders are clean and flow freely and take any other steps that they need to take on their own properties to prevent water in their homes.

During these occurrences, the village staff (Ted Blach, Bill Mello, Bob Elliot and all of our DPW personnel) and I were on duty, monitoring the situation, directing personnel actions and assisting in cleanup efforts to prevent the flooding from becoming even worse.

We will be coordinating a meeting in the near future with our personnel, county and town personnel and other relevant parties to assess what the issues are and how we can do more to address these matters.

Please keep us informed of any developments or concerns.

We take these matters very seriously and have a done a great deal to address many of these issues. We will be developing an action plan to address the more persistent and continuing issues that remain.

Peter Cavallaro
Westbury Village Mayor