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Group seeks input on flooding in watershed

Water runs through Rob Breen’s property in Clarksville during Tropical Storm Irene. Breen has helped to organize a community meeting Nov. 30 for area residents interested in discussing flooding concerns.

Water runs through Rob Breen’s property in Clarksville during Tropical Storm Irene. Breen has helped to organize a community meeting Nov. 30 for area residents interested in discussing flooding concerns.

Breen is working with Ciara Gannon, a senior from the New York City area who is taking an independent study course with Breen.

“The main goal is to have people listen to each other and have a common ground,” said Gannon. “My goal is to have a community effort where people work together, maybe on a Saturday, to go and volunteer, and clean up some trees that are blocking water flow, or clean out some things that might have flowed down creek.”

Breen said that there is often a feeling of skepticism regarding help from the local or state level, and talked about the positives of getting people in a community more aware of what can be done without passing a piece of legislation. He cautioned that many people don’t have the resources they need to make their own repairs along with the work to prevent major flooding.

“They’re putting the resources back in to replace some of their items that they lost, or getting some structural stuff done on their houses,” Breen said. “They don’t have any money or resources or equipment to go into the creek and do creek restoration, let alone the technical expertise.”

The community dialogue organized by the Onesquethaw-Coeymans Watershed Council will be held Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. at the CSX Auditorium in Selkirk. The meeting will last approximately two hours and is open to the public. For more information or to RSVP for the meeting, call Rob Breen at 783-2399, or visit www.ocwatershed.org.

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