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Anti-Flood Efforts Continue in White Plains

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- County Executive Robert Astorino announced Thursday that anti-erosion work on the western bank of the Bronx River by the county center was completed.

He also said Westchester included $350,000 to help finance the reconstruction of the eastern bank in a $9 million campaign to mitigate flooding across the county, predominately near the Bronx River.

"There’s a long road ahead of us. We’re not going to be able to solve every problem. The next time we have a deluge of rain there is going to be flooding. The parkways are going to be closed. We understand that’s going to happen. But we are incrementally trying to attack some areas where we know the problems exist," Astorino said.

The county contributed $87,000 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' $1 million reconstruction of the Bronx River's west bank. Now, $350,000 from Westchester and a matching grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will stabilize the other bank by the end of the summer.

Astorino says the construction is designed to counteract the bank’s erosion by building up the land bordering the Bronx River, which will also help protect the nearby Bronx River Parkway.

White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach said the city was pleased to partner with the county to counteract flooding, which the Democrat says is an issue throughout White Plains.

"Half of the city drains into the Mamaroneck River and half drains into the Bronx River...Water that's trying to enter the Bronx River from pipes that are draining the city of White Plains cannot enter because the river is so high," Roach said of the river after storms, such as Tropical Storm Irene. "We’re starting out with removing some of the debris and impediments that are in the river, and I believe it is going to be a long process to get the river back to functionality."

Although no other funding was allocated to White Plains, Roach and Westchester Legislator William Ryan (D-White Plains) say they've been strategizing together about how to mitigate the chronic flooding experienced by the Cloverdale Avenue neighborhood.

"The water collected is so much more than the drainage pipes can handle and they're old," Ryan said of the infrastructure near Cloverdale Avenue. "If they're not redone, it's always going to be a problem."

Roach said he hopes the bank stabilization near the county center will improve the Bronx River’s flow during future storms, possibly allowing more water to drain into the river from saturated areas like Cloverdale Avenue.

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