Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R,I,C-Greenwood Lake) today hosted a public hearing regarding the Wallkill River flood plain at the Orange County Legislative Chamber in Goshen. Representatives from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the United States Army Corps of Engineers, local public officials and area residents attended the hearing to discuss the frequent flooding of the Wallkill River and its tributaries.
“Many of my constituents have come to my office seeking assistance with flood damage and financial aid for clean up. It seems that almost every year the Wallkill River overflows, destroying crucial farmland and residential property. My hope is that the powers that be can take today’s input from the community and develop a real plan that will help these folks living in the flood plain,” said Rabbitt.
Rabbitt notes that the Army Corps of Engineers have been actively studying and implementing solutions to minimize the damage done by rapidly rising floodwaters in this part of the Hudson Valley since the 1950s. According to the Army Corps, recurring flooding has again become a persistent problem due to years of heavy rains and runoff, which have resulted in erosion. The federal agency has agreed to conduct a reconnaissance study on the Rondout Watershed, which includes the Wallkill River.
In an effort to better understand the extent of the damages and losses experienced by residents along the Wallkill River as a direct result of flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers encourages residents to contact and share with them the types of losses they have experienced in terms of property damage, lost crops and destroyed land. This information can be shared with Tricia L. Aspinwall, Project Planner, by writing to her attention at the Plan Formulation Branch at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10278, via fax at (212) 264-1275 or by calling her at (917) 790-8734.
“This study will examine current conditions in this watershed and evaluate potential solutions to combat this escalating problem,” said Rabbitt. “I want to thank everyone who participated in this hearing, and I am sure that the comments expressed today will be used to develop a strategy that will benefit all the residents along the Wallkill River.”
For more information on this important issue, please contact Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt’s district office at (845) 291-3631.