Nassau County will soon upgrade the storm water pump station at Cedar Point Lake off Branch Boulevard in Woodmere, officials recently said, with the hopes of reducing storm water floods that have become more common in parts of the Five Towns.
Ken Arnold, of the Nassau County Department of Public Works, said there were a number of possibilities for why flooding has become more frequent, and reassured residents that the repair project will resolve some of the flooding issues in the community.
“We are improving the pump station,” Arnold told the room of concerned Five Towns residents. “We’re modernizing the instruments, how the pumps work, all of the electronics, emergency power rod, and we're also going to look at the check valves to make sure they don’t leak.”
The county’s $839,000 pump station repair project, bid out to Biltwel General Contractor Corp., also includes a number of structural improvements, installation of a telemetering system that remotely monitors pump station activity, repairs to the tide gates and a complete restoration of mechanical equipment, and is scheduled to be completed in eight months.
Several residents, mainly from Fiske and Ibsen Streets, came out to the forum at the to express their growing concern for the frequency of storm water flooding in their homes and streets since Hurricane Gloria in 2005.
Many residents even attested to replacing two, or even three cars damaged in floods since the storm.
Yosefa Loskove, an Ibsen Street homeowner for the last nine years, said her property had no flooding before the storm, but ever since there has been regular flooding reaching up to five feet in her home.
“Every time it rains a little bit, we have to move the cars and we get water in the basement,” Loskove said. “It doesn't only happen when there are huge storms.”
While the flood forum panel presented several possible solutions to the inordinate amount of flooding in recent years, residents seemed tired of the same answers and were there to see progress.
“I want to see that something is changed,” she said. “When it rains, we don’t want to have to be nervous that we're going to be flooded.”
In addition to structural repairs and improvements to the pump system, other work at Cedar Point Lake pump station includes the clearing of “overgrown vegetation,” removal of asbestos and lead-based paint, a newly paved driveway and walkway, new lighting and the installation of safety railings.
Nassau Legislator Howard Kopel (R-Lawrence) reassured residents that he is doing everything in his power to resolve their problems, however, he said the county can only fix what is already in place, since the station is too old and extensive.
“We can't build a new system; that is not possible,” he explained to the residents. “We will do our best on the political side to see to it that the people who are running things do what they are supposed to do.”