By Luciano Vera, USACEMay 26, 2017
BUFFALO, New York - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District, technical field teams conducted a third round of emergency flood assessments before the Memorial Day weekend.
New York State continues to provide Corps of Engineers Technical Assistance Field Teams with information on affected sites that request the visits.
"Safety is a big concern with the holiday weekend and when we received the request for our teams to visit another list of sites we responded quickly," said Lt. Col. Adam Czekanski, USACE Buffalo District Commander. "This is a joint effort and as long as there is a need the Corps of Engineers is committed to providing support."
On a site visit to Wilson, New York town officials pointed out a shore protection wall eroding due to high water levels and waves. A storm sewer outfall pipe was sticking out of part of the eroded shoreline.
"Our team recommended placing rip-rap as an immediate temporary measure and that official's follow up after conditions normalize for a more permanent solution," said Robert Remmers, USACE Buffalo District Chief of Operations and Technical Support. "A lot of the areas we have visited are doing a great job and are looking for additional guidance and reassurance on their efforts."
Doyle Phillips, Wilson Supervisor said, "Safety is a big concern and it is great to have an additional resource of experts take the time to come out and speak with us. We will take all the help we can get."
One of the leading recommendations during the visits continues to be proper sandbag techniques and placement.
"We continue to encourage the public and local municipalities to fill and place the sandbags right the first time, otherwise there is a lot of wasted effort having to go back and make corrections," said Remmers.
The team provided onsite recommendations, handed out proper placement fact sheets and encouraged officials to visit the district website www.lrb.usace.army.mil to watch an online sandbag tutorial video.
During a visit to Oswego, New York, Bonnie Guckin, USACE Buffalo District Regulatory Biologist, answered questions on the expedited regulatory process from the public and local officials on how to protect their property from erosion.
"We recognize the public needs to protect their property from erosion and it is just a matter of pointing them in the right direction with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Corps of Engineers permitting process."
The DEC issued a Storm Recovery General permit for the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Shoreline. Projects that qualify for the general permit will also meet the terms and conditions for the USACE Nationwide Permit.
"Individual homeowners and business owners should first contact their local municipalities to report damages, flooding, or erosion," said Guckin.
The team also met with Sandy Island Beach State Park officials to discuss current flood control and erosion measures to combat the high water levels and conducted a follow up assessment in Sodus Point, New York.
The Corps of Engineers plans to continue working with the State of New York on follow up technical assistance visits.