Flood mitigation projects planned for this summer

By Geoff Samuels
A host of Emergency Watershed Projects (EWPs) are scheduled to begin on June 22 in the Town of Middletown and surrounding areas, and are slated to be completed by the September 15 “project window” deadline.

Permission was granted by the Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) to the Town of Middletown to start accepting bids for the projects immediately, and a motion was passed at last Tuesday’s Middletown Board meeting to do so. This should allow work to begin as soon as the project window opens in June.

According to Graydon Dutcher, program coordinator for the Soil & Water Stream Corridor Management Program, individual projects will include the Bull Run stream, Margaretville Central School, the Arkville trailer park, Dry Brook and Millbrook roads, as well as the Village of Fleischmanns. The Fleischmanns project is actually nine separate projects lumped together.

Variety of work
The types of flood mitigation work will include everything from the seeding of riverbanks to actual flood plain modifications. In some areas, stone rip rap will be used to stabilize various sections of riverbank. In other areas such as the Bull Run stream in Margaretville, a system called stone grade control will be employed to keep raging waters from undercutting bridge structures.

Of the nine projects in Fleischmanns, two will actually be “floodplain restorations” in which specific areas adjacent to the river will be reduced in elevation to prevent floodwaters from enervating nearby structures. The project in the Arkville trailer park which, according to Dutcher covers about two acres, will require the assistance of the Army Corps of Engineers as well as the DEC and the DEP, as any work over an acre in size is bumped up to another category requiring additional expertise.