I’ve followed all the flooding news over the decades in Rye carefully, and as the co-founder of the Rye Flood Action Coalition with Carolina Johnson, I’ve studied all the archival information, the past studies, and plans. There is no need to study this issue any further.
It’s my view that the only solution to Rye’s issues is a county-wide plan to detain water in every municipality in the Blind Brook watershed, pro rata based on the amount of surface area they have draining into the Blind Brook watershed. This watershed spans one-third of Westchester County and some ten towns. Each town needs to be responsible for the construction of detention ponds and dams that slow the flow of water downstream, allowing for a more orderly release of water into Long Island Sound. Local residents can also work on projects like getting a sump pump installation that can help protect their homes from being damaged by floods.
This would require the County to mandate such a plan, with support funding from every available source – federal, state, county, and local.
The detention pond plan at SUNY Purchase is an excellent first step. Now, each of the other towns needs to do its share, and the County needs to step up to make certain this occurs.
- Andy Goodenough