HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- While rebuilding efforts following last August's record flooding during Tropical Storm Irene have proceeded along incrementally, the process continues today and has not been without hiccups.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement earlier this year that the state would pick up the local share of storm-related costs following hurricanes Irene and Lee meant that the village of Hoosick Falls would be responsible for only a minimal portion of the expected $1 million price tag to repair and rectify a section of River Road damaged by Irene.
While the short segment between Route 22 and Mechanic Street was passable immediately after the storm, erosion from the high water caused the nearby Hoosic River bank to shift and crumble the road surface days later. The road was closed until temporary repairs were made and travel lanes were redrawn.
Residents heard plans for permanent repairs this past April, during a public hearing in which engineers said the best solution was to shift the road surface further from the banks of the river, approximately the width of the road, or 25 feet.
Because of adjoining town and private property, the village must use eminent domain procedure to acquire the strip of land and compensate affected landowners.
While not contesting the end result, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency did return the village's plans during a review earlier this summer as "not the best solution" in terms of how the work proceeds, causing additional delay. Village trustees have yet to put the work out to bid.
Flooding along the Battenkill in the area of the covered bridge in Buskirk resulted in two condemned residences, one of which was later torn down. But damage in neighboring New York was heavily localized and far less than in areas to the west, south, and east.