$61M in Storm Grants Proposed for Long Island

Island Park Sandy
After the Superstorm: Hurricane Sandy-ravaged Island Park residents flooded the makeshift disaster relief site at the village’s abandoned LIRR station Nov. 10, 2012, where volunteers distributed donated clothing and food. (Christopher Twarowski/Long Island Press)

Two post-Superstorm Sandy hazard mitigation projects on Long Island that would cost a combined $61 million are among 10 proposals statewide awaiting the federal government’s stamp of approval.

The two proposals—$400 million in flood protection in Island Park and $21 million for Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center and Our Lady of Consolation Nursing Home in West Islip—have been vetted by state officials and could be eligible for FEMA funding through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

The grant was created to assist local governments and non-profit organizations bolster their infrastructure so they can be better prepared for future natural disasters like Sandy.

“This vital program enables communities to think creatively about preparing for future storms, bolstering infrastructure and helping to revive local economies in the process,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Island Park, one of the villages hit hardest by Sandy’s storm surge, was flooded with up to eight feet of sea water when the Oct. 29, 2012 superstorm hit. The hurricane flooded nearly every home and business in the village and destroyed the elementary school, fire house, village hall and some religious institutions. Thirty-percent of residents have yet to return, according to the state.

The village’s proposal calls for a field examination of drainage systems and existing municipal bulkheads. Officials are also seeking to improve mitigation by including tide gates, sub-surface storm water storage, bulkhead upgrades and road raising.

In West Islip, Catholic Health Services of Long Island—which owns and operates the medical center and nursing home—is seeking federal aid to replace generators at both facilities and to elevate critical electrical systems. The organization also hopes to conduct a civil engineering study to propose flood control recommendations to protect the facilities against future storm surges.

The state has vetted a total of 10 projects estimated at $128 million. They all require FEMA approval.