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Nassau County lawmakers lay out plan to address future flood concerns after last week's storms

Nassau County lawmakers lay out plan to address future flood concerns after last week's storms
Nassau County lawmakers lay out plan to address future flood concerns after last week's storms 01:59

BALDWIN, N.Y. -- After areas of Long Island were once again inundated by a major storm, lawmakers are outlining a plan to push for infrastructure improvements.

CBS New York has more on how they're looking to help homeowners.

From knee-deep water in streets to cars stuck, garages flooded, even a diner shutting down, parts of Nassau County got slammed by Friday's rainstorm.

Valerie Krokowski lives on Barnes Avenue in Baldwin, a neighborhood which is no stranger to flooding.

"It's not even the canal rising. It's the sewer water coming out of the manholes and the system just can't take it," Krokowski said. "They put Band-Aids on it. They don't fix it."

A group of Democratic lawmakers is pushing for fixes, proposing a four-prong plan to make the county more storm resilient.

The first step is calling for a legislative hearing on infrastructure needs.

"The public deserves to know the state of our infrastructure and the needs that are glaring in their specific communities, and us as legislators, we need to know where experts recommend we allocate funding," Legislator Joshua Lafazan said.

The second step is a big one, evaluating and addressing roadway drainage.

The final steps focus on funding.

The lawmakers want to use American Rescue Plan money for improvements and say $239 million has to be allocated by the end of the year.

"Funding was for COVID relief and the only infrastructure item they can use it on is regarding water," Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton said.

They also want an aggressive plan to seek federal aid from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill passed in 2021. County Executive Bruce Blakeman said Nassau hasn't received a dime.

The lawmakers said there's no more time to waste.

"We as an island have not adapted fast enough to climate change and there's a significant cost to inaction. The longer we wait, the heavier price we pay in terms of dollars and in terms of action," Lafazan said.

Mary Studdert, a spokesperson for the Nassau County legislative majority, said, "As the Democrats should know, Nassau County has invested over half a billion dollars for sewer and storm water infrastructure improvements over the next four years. We invite the minority to support this year's capital improvement plan and join us in our demand that Gov. Hochul allocate more federal infrastructure dollars towards storm hardening projects at the county level."

Christopher Boyle, spokesman for Blakeman, said, "The county executive has had numerous conversations with federal and state officials requesting infrastructure funds to start repairing or replacing our sewer lines which have been neglected for decades."

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