Port Washington residents call for change to prevent flooding

NOW: Port Washington residents call for change to prevent flooding

PORT WASHINGTON (CBS 58) - Port Washington residents are calling for change after devastating flooding in August.

They spoke their mind at a public works meeting Tuesday night.

After building and homes were filled with up to 7 feet of water, residents have had enough.

The city agrees that something has to be done, but money and even some residents have stood in the way.

“I’m begging you guys,” said one property owner in Port Washington, “please figure out what the problem is.”

Karen Oleski lives in the apartment complex where their underground parking lot filled with water,

“The water in the garage was so high it went over the top of all the cars down there,” said Oleski, who lost her car in the flood.

City Engineer and Director of Public Works Rob Vanden Noven said the city thought they were prepared, until 9 inches of rain fell.

“We did install flood protection for the 100 year storm, unfortunately this has been recorded as a 500 year event,” said Vanden Noven.

Part of the problem is that the structure they built for rain runoff, got clogged.

“Debris is washing down the creek and plugging our infrastructure, and that’s difficult to address,” said Vanden Noven.

Another problem, is that the plan they put in place years ago to prevent flooding was rejected by some residents.

“A few of the key owners objected to granting an easement to install the infrastructure so we essentially had to walk away from the project,” Vanden Noven said.

“I’d like to see for us to revisit that study and go the next step,” said Oleski, who is among many residents who would like to revisit the flood plan or find other solutions.

Especially considering many homeowners don’t live in the flood plain, and can’t get flood insurance.

Right now they are happy the city is listening.

“I think they’re very reasonable people, they’re my neighbors,” said Oleski.

Vanden Noven talked about the flood damage and gave some solutions Tuesday.

He hopes to have a proposal for how to move forward at the next Department of Public Works meeting October 9th.

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