Help on the way after Rockland County residents suffer decades of flooding

Marcus Solis Image
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
After decades of flooding damage, NY residents receive help
Marcus Solis reports on what homeowners in West Nyack had to deal with.

WEST NYACK, Rockland County (WABC) -- Residents in West Nyack brace for flooding every time it rains, but now, after decades of damaged homes, help is on the way.

Homeowners have dealt with the conditions for decades. When storm clouds gather, the feeling of dread sets in.

"We call each other, there's going to be a storm, get your furniture out of the basement, get a hotel room, go to your sister's," homeowner Dorothy Artola said.

Lake Lodico is a manmade lake. A levee separates it from the nearby Hackensack River.

But it's been overmatched during major storms and the rainfall is made worse by the release of water from a nearby reservoir.

The result is catastrophic flooding that sends feet of water into homes.

Now a plan 30 years in the making is moving forward. Permanent pumps will be installed and the levee will be raised three feet and extended.

The dirt to build it up has been sitting in a pile for 10 years. Federal funds are paying for most of the $6.3 million project.

"Historically infrastructure investments have enjoyed support from both Republicans and Democrats," said Rep. Mondaire Jones.

"It's a great project, I can't thank the residents for their patience enough, you've suffered a long time down here," said Clarkstown Town Supervisor George Hoehmann.

Once complete, homeowners will no longer have to carry the highest, most expensive level of flood insurance.

Their property values will likely go up and it should be easier for them to sell their homes, but they say this is more than just about money.

"Knowing that it's going to rain tonight and I'm going to go to sleep and wake up and my car's going to be OK, my possessions are going to be fine and we're going to be safe, that's something you can't put a price tag on," one resident said.

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