Mayor Palmieri responds to North Utica residents' flood concerns

A group of concerned residents met at the North Utica Community Center to discuss flooding issues in the North Utica area.

Posted: Aug 27, 2019 2:46 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2019 5:08 PM

UTICA -- A group of residents met at the North Utica Community Center Monday to discuss flooding issues in the North Utica area. The residents say there have been multiple floods in the area since 1999, and want the City of Utica and Town of Deerfield to take action.

In response to their concerns, Mayor Robert Palmieri released a statement to address the issue.

"The city has worked with partners and invested a lot of manpower and capital to adjust our aging infrastructure to the new reality of more and more severe storms. We have made some progress, but we're going to need help from our partners to eliminate flooding altogether," Palmieri stated in the release.

The city has made some effort in recent years to address issues caused by severe storms, including setting up command posts during every storm, separating and upgrading the storm and sewage systems, as well as investing in mitigating Halleck’s Ravine, Sauquoit Creek and fixing Nail Creek.

Read the full statement below:

The City has worked with partners and invested a lot of manpower and capital to adjust our aging infrastructure to the new reality of more and more severe storms. We have made some progress, but we’re going to need help from our partners to eliminate flooding altogether.

Here are some of the things the City and its partners have done in last several years:

• City officials set up command posts during every storm, including the most recent one, to respond to emergencies
• The City has spent more than $20 million on separating and upgrading the storm and sewage systems.
• There have been millions invested in mitigating Halleck’s Ravine, Sauquoit Creek and monitoring and fixing Nail Creek.
• City employees clean out every creek in North Utica every year, on both private and public lands, and have spent time and money reinforcing banks, cleaning sewer drains and monitoring the systems.
• Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon worked with the Mayor to make Reall Creek and Sauquoit Creek eligible for state inland waterways funds.
• The City of Utica, the State Canal Corporation, the State Thruway Authority and the State Department of Transportation are all working on a project to mitigate flooding caused by a beaver dam along the Thruway in North Utica.
• Former State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and State Sen. Joseph Griffo helped secure $250,000 in state funding to help stabilize flooding at the Chenango Road Bridge that crosses the Sauquoit Creek between Utica and New Hartford.
• The State Department of Environmental Conservation is studying the Mohawk River to find solutions and the State Department of Transportation is working with the City to find solutions on the North South Arterial.
• The City has asked the DEC and the DOT to study the City’s entire storm water retention system in light of increased weather intensity.
• Oneida County is spending $12 million over the next six years on flood mitigation in and around Utica.

The frequency of these intense storms has indeed made a new reality. Our City was designed to hold less than two inches of rainwater every hour. Last week’s storm produced more than three inches in just over a half-hour. To combat these types of storms, we’re going to need help from state and national partners. Collectively, we need them to respond with resources proportionate to the problems that exist.

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