ALBANY, N.Y. -- Repairs to the Town of Kirkwood sewer station in Broome County , damaged during the June 2006 flooding, were designed to a higher standard and may be less vulnerable to future flooding.
Thanks to a New York State and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy, extra funding is provided to mitigate against future damages to public infrastructure.
Susquehanna River flooding due to June's torrential rains resulted in approximately three feet of water in the first floor of Kirkwood 's main sewer station. This resulted in flooding in the basement and damage to two dry-well pumps. An emergency generator and other electrical equipment located on the first floor were also destroyed.
The newly installed pumps are submersible and waterproof, preventing water damage in the event of another possible torrential flood, explained Richard J. Jones, Sr., commissioner of the Department of Public Works for the Town of Kirkwood . "The generator has also been elevated to much higher ground,"he said. "We couldn't have done any of this restoration and repair work without FEMA's help,"he added.
President Bush signed a major disaster declaration for New York State as a result of the 2006 flooding.
The disaster declaration triggered the Public Assistance Program in Broome County to reimburse government entities and certain non-profits for emergency protective measures and the repair of damaged public infrastructure.
FEMA provides 75 percent of the grant funding. The 25 percent non-federal share is funded by the state. The New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) administers the program.
SEMO and FEMA approved approximately $58,000 in pump replacement and station repair. An additional $40,000 was used to install and elevate two new pumps. The total project costs approximately $98,000, of which the federal share is approximately $73,000.
A major FEMA and SEMO goal is to mitigate, where it is cost effective, when restoring damaged infrastructure so the repaired facility is better able to withstand future disaster damages. Extra money spent now can reduce future impacts and costs.
"Mitigation activities such as these are a smart way of doing business by spending monies now to lessen the threat on communities before an event occurs in the future,"said State Coordinating Officer John R. Gibb, Director of SEMO.
"This is an excellent example of an investment in improvements that will pay dividends for years to come,"said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Marianne C. Jackson.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.