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Preventing a repeat of Irene

The Onesthequaw Coeymans Watershed Council sponsored a meeting Wednesday, Nov. 30 at the CSX Auditorium in Selkirk. Residents from Ravena to New Scotland came to discuss flooding concerns and problems they experienced during Tropical Storm Irene.

The Onesthequaw Coeymans Watershed Council sponsored a meeting Wednesday, Nov. 30 at the CSX Auditorium in Selkirk. Residents from Ravena to New Scotland came to discuss flooding concerns and problems they experienced during Tropical Storm Irene.

“One of the interesting questions is what will it take financially to do some kind of mitigation,” said Dolin. “I’m here to learn a little bit about the future of the creek and the restoration of it.”

Many, including Dolin, were concerned that flooding and damage could be even worse during significant storms in the future.

“If this is going to be a reoccurring event every few years, the town is going to have to do some kind of planning in terms of prevention and protecting, maybe with different kinds of bridge and road designs,” said Dolin.

Sander Bonvell, a volunteer with the council, said he heard information and suggestions from the roughly two dozen people in attendance. However, Bonvell said he did not hear as many stories as he had hoped.

“The bottom line is, will people volunteer to do something or are they going to be in denial and wait until something happens, and see if they can get the town to come back or FEMA?” said Bonvell.

After meeting in two smaller groups, those in attendance came together and talked about ideas such as working with other volunteer organizations to help clean up the creeks and creating phone trees in case of emergencies like Tropical Storm Irene. Bonvell said the problem is that there isn’t a large enough group of people involved.

“If you’re going to get 20 people on a phone tree, you really need a much larger group to choose from. It’s a little more involved than just having a phone tree for a soccer game for the kids. You have to be there, because people could die.”

For more information about the Onesquethaw Coeymans Watershed Council, visit www.ocwatershed.org.

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