Town of Hempstead Accepts Critical Funding for Flood Prevention and Drainage Improvements in Five Towns

Issued by: Town of Hempstead, Office of Supervisor Laura Gillen

Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery Provides $1.7 Million to Support Community Resiliency Projects

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen and Deputy Supervisor Bruce Blakeman announced the Town of Hempstead received more than $1.7 Million in Community Reconstruction disaster recovery funds from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery to install numerous storm water drainage improvements in Woodmere and Inwood.

“The Town of Hempstead will continue pursuing all available avenues to alleviate and prevent flooding," said Supervisor Gillen. “We are thankful to Governor Cuomo and his office for helping us rebuild stronger and smarter. These are cost-effective, long-term solutions for homeowners and small businesses” 

The critical funding, which was unanimously accepted during the most recent Town Board meeting, will be used to mitigate flooding in high-risk areas by installing backflow prevention devices and increasing pipe capacity in low lying areas.

Laura Munafo, Deputy Director of GOSR’s Long Island Community Reconstruction Program, said: “GOSR was pleased to work with the Town and the Community Advisory Committee on these resiliency projects. Backflow prevention devices may not be the most glamorous or visible infrastructure projects but they are among the most important to preventing flooding. That these two projects should be chosen to move ahead is what Governor Andrew Cuomo envisioned when he created the Community Reconstruction process. It’s an example of grassroots community coordination and cooperation at its best.”

Governor Cuomo mandated that GOSR’s NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) Program be locally driven and inspired, enabling residents and business owners to become actively involved with their communities’ recovery. The Hempstead flood prevention and drainage initiative grew from this process to empower residents in making funding and project recommendations. Statewide, more than 650 New Yorkers served on 66 NYRCR Committees, that have collectively proposed approximately 700 local projects. Funding for both planning and project implementation comes from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), as part of its Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program.

“By making our communities more resilient to future storms and reducing our risk for flooding, we are improving the economic outlook for our local homeowners and small businesses,” said Councilman Bruce Blakeman. “The goal is to reduce property damage and the amount we spend responding to flooding emergencies by eliminating the problems to begin with.”

During Superstorm Sandy, many vital roadways located in low-lying areas were either closed, or became impassable, due to flooding.

“We are significantly improving our communities by making our infrastructure more resilient to future storms and reducing recurrent flooding,” said Councilman Bruce Blakeman. “Our objective with this and all storm mitigation projects is to reduce property damage and the cost of responding to flood emergencies.”

New and improved stormwater infrastructure also carries significant health and environmental benefits – filtering out pollutants that spill into nearby waterways, including: Motts Creek, Doxey Brook, Cedar Point Lake, Hook Creek, and Lagoon, and Fosters Brook Lower as well as areas around Head of Bay and Motts Basin.

“We’ll be protecting our homes and protecting our environment, all at the same time," said Supervisor Gillen.

Town officials estimate design and construction can possibly begin as early as next year.