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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Flood Report

by Cindy Goldstein -


Mayor Sharon Torres reported on continuing flood mitigation efforts despite the loss of Deputy Village Manager Dan Sarnoff.  She reported that the interim Village Manager and staff will all step up to keep projects moving forward and asked the public to give grace and courtesy to the staff who are all grieving.


Mark Carabetta, an environmental scientist with SLR (the consulting firm hired by New York State) was on Zoom and gave a general overview of the work he and his team of hydrologists had done for the State and specifically on the potential use of pumps to move floodwaters.


Carabetta and his colleagues evaluated the Mamaroneck River, Sheldrake River, and the tributaries whose watershed is 23 square miles with 80% of it developed.  There’s no floodplain, some areas are built-out right up to the edge of the rivers and the channel lacks capacity.


Three major recommendations were made:  to replace and widen the bridges and other river crossings, to widen the rivers overall and add floodplain.  Carabetta also described the constrictions arising from the 90 degree bends in the rivers that constrict water moving downstream to Long Island Sound that cause flooding.


Members of the Flood Mitigation Advisory Committee (FMAC) have proposed that the Village purchase pumps to move the water during flood events and Carabetta was at the meeting specifically to address the feasibility of pumps.  Carabetta stated that SLR had considered and ruled out using pumps early in their analysis, distinguishing the situation in New Orleans where pumps are used to move water since the levees block water from directly entering the Gulf of Mexico.  Here in Mamaroneck, the water flows without major blockages to Long Island Sound.  The Village of Bronxville has also experienced success with pumps, but Carabetta stated they, too, have a different flood problem than Mamaroneck.


Carabetta described the impediments to using pumps: the 90 degree bends in the rivers that cause the backup, the need for space to locate the pumps and required floodproofing along with elevating them which adds gravity to the equation.  He also described the technical maintenance required.  In summary, he stated that pumps are not used to convey downstream water.


Mayor Torres then posed questions to Carabetta from FMAC members that dealt principally with pumps, some of which were very technical.  After the presentation Carabetta said he would attend a future FMAC meeting to answer further questions.


Later, during the public comment period, some residents were less than impressed with Carabetta’s answers and said so. 


Village Engineer Gino Frabasile gave updates on the various projects for drainage improvements and river maintenance.


Kate Dehais, member of the Committee for the Environment (CFTE), reported that the Village had received a $50,000 grant for a concept design along Fenimore Road.  She described that the work would take part of the underused parking lot to capture, detain and filter flood water before releasing it into the river.  She also asked volunteers to sign up to help CFTE plant and maintain the various parks across the Village.  Check the Village website for more information on how to volunteer.


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