Albany, N.Y. -- Bayville, located on the northernmost tip of Nassau County, escaped storm damage from the March nor’easter because of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) projects. These were undertaken 12 years ago when a storm drainage system, leaching pits and a retaining wall project were constructed. Hazard mitigation grants, which are administered by New York State, fund projects designed to reduce the likelihood of damage from floods and severe weather.
The north side of Bayville Avenue along the coastal shoreline of Long Island Sound had a history of erosion that if left unchecked could have caused a breach or failure of Bayville Avenue, and eliminated the only road access into the Village of Centre Island.
The grant funded the installation of an 800-foot retaining wall along the shoreline, which stabilized the area and ensured that about 450 residents of the Village of Centre Island would have access to critical facilities and emergency services during severe storms.
HMGP also funded a drainage project in an area of the village bounded on the north by Long Island Sound and on the south by Oyster Bay Harbor, where severe flooding recurred after significant rainfall and coastal storm events. The flood waters, combined with higher than usual tides, caused Long Island Sound to swell and back up along the village’s north shore as there was no outlet for the tidal flood water.
To combat this problem, street drainage structures, leaching pools, overflow and outfall piping equipped with tidal check valves, were installed. These enhancements permitted the water to drain into Oyster Bay. Nick Campagnola, a village resident, stated that “the drainage system definitely helped improve the conditions after a storm” he added, “without the system we would really be in trouble.”
“The benefit this work has provided to residents is significant,” said Douglas G. Watson, mayor of Bayville. “The drainage system was designed to drain water from low-lying streets in the project area, and succeeded in preventing flooding from severe rain events such as last March’s nor’easter. The system left the streets safely free of standing water in a short time. We are very happy with the way it has worked out.”
“These enhancements have withstood severe weather conditions,” Watson added.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.