BERKELEY – Officials said that while town employees handled the recent snowfall well, they still need outside help to create a permanent fix to the flooding in low-lying areas.
The township has several locations that are in danger of flooding, especially near the marshy areas east of Route 9. A lot of these locations have historically been prone to flooding, but it’s been getting worse over the last few years.
At the first Township Council meeting after the January 9 storm, Mayor John Bacchione said that the township saw some of the worst flooding in years.
He said he talked to the township engineer, John LeCompte, about raising roadways such as Bayview Avenue. It’s going to be a difficult project since it’s in the middle of the marshland. He hopes to work with the county and get grants.
Funding of this nature might have to be on the state or even federal level, Bacchione said.
The problem with raising one section of roadway is that it pours the water onto another section, or even into driveways and residential property. Therefore, officials are looking for ways to not only raise roads, but manage the stormwater that is coming down.
Much of this area is made up of tidal marshlands which are designed by nature to swell with water; they ebb and flow with the tides. Developers created man-made lagoons that are constantly fighting nature.
Councilman James Byrnes said that besides Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene, it was the worst flooding in town.
Drivers couldn’t get out of Glen Cove. “On Butler Boulevard, people were ruining their cars,” he said. Houses that were rebuilt after Sandy still got water in their basement.
Byrnes suggested an ordinance that if a house has to rebuild, they would have the lowest slab at 18 inches above street level.
When it comes to roadwork, a comprehensive solution is needed. “We can’t just be going out putting Band-Aids on puddles,” he said.
The snowstorm that took place in the middle of January, however, was not as bad as the rainstorm, officials reported.
This was the first snowstorm with any significant accumulation in years.
Mayor Bacchione said that the snowstorm didn’t set the town back too much. Generally, a town could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on snow removal using outside vendors. This storm was all handled in-house with public works employees. He noted that there were no major car crashes as a result of the snow. He thanked Shawn Thomas, the director of Public Works.
Councilman Michael Signorile said that he received a “ton of phone calls and they were all positive” regarding the snow removal.