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Banking on a berm to save water from water

Niskayuna workers construct flood barrier around water plant

Niskayuna Supervisor Joe Landry surveys the area surround the berm constructed at the town’s water plant on Friday, Sept. 2.

Niskayuna Supervisor Joe Landry surveys the area surround the berm constructed at the town’s water plant on Friday, Sept. 2. Photo by John Purcell.

Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw said she was impressed with the dedication of employees during the storm.

“What was just amazing was the cooperation between the two departments and the selflessness of the guys that were willing to work and do anything,” said McGraw. “You just heard them keep saying, ‘What do you need?’”

Yetto said at one point the trucks were coming in similar to a military operation and overall it was very effective and efficient. When one truck was emptied the material another truck would be close behind. Around 150 truckload of material was used to build the plant.

“It just had to get done,” said McGraw.

She also described what it was like to be at the plant during the flooding.

“The thing that was most striking about it is it was waves crashing,” Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw said. “The noise, it was just roaring, and you didn’t realize what it was at first, but then it dawned on you and it was just this roaring that never stopped for hours on end.”

Matt Yetto said the roaring water was a good motivation to get the berm done.

“You had the roaring, you had the wind blowing and trees cracking, it kept everybody awake,” Landry said.

Yetto said there was little damage to the property and there is no long-term damage.

“We have to do some clean up, but we can handle that,” Yetto said.

During the crest of the storm, said Landry, power was turned off at the water plant for a couple hours as a precaution and started using water reserves. There is about 2.5 million gallons of water stored, which can last the entire town a day and a half, said Landry.

“Really, there was no interruption of any service to the residents in Niskayuna,” said Landry. “We had already pumped so much into the reserve that we were safe.”

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