Himes secures federal funding to study Fairfield County flooding

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes

Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) today announced that he has secured federal funding for the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a feasibility study aimed at curbing flooding throughout Fairfield County. The study will include coastal areas that were devastated by Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, as well as communities that have been plagued by frequent flooding for decades. Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of work by Himes to secure the federal resources needed to launch the study.

“This Army Corps of Engineers study is a critical first step toward a long-term action plan to address the dangerous and costly flooding that has plagued Fairfield County for generations,” Himes said. “I fought hard for this funding because we must take concrete steps to protect families, homes and businesses from the next Sandy or Irene, as well as the persistent flooding that affects our communities. Today’s discussion will help us pave a viable path forward to make Fairfield County more resistant and resilient to future flooding.”

The $300,000 Himes secured is the first installment of the federal government’s share of financing for the feasibility study, which will encompass both Fairfield and New Haven Counties. The study will be conducted over a three-year period, with the estimated $3 million cost shared evenly between the federal government and a non-federal partner.

“Floods threaten lives and livelihoods in Fairfield County. Congressman Himes’ efforts will help reduce these risks, protecting residents and business across the region,” said Francis Pickering, Executive Director of the Western Connecticut Council of Governments. “Storms are taking an increasingly heavy toll in our region. A comprehensive flood study will lay the groundwork for much-needed mitigation projects and a more resilient future in southwestern Connecticut. We applaud Congressman Himes’ for his efforts.”

“We thank Congressman Himes for securing this funding, which is vitally needed in order for the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct the feasibility study,” said Stamford Mayor David Martin. “In Stamford, in addition to flooding caused by extreme weather events, we have neighborhoods that also experience routine flooding. This study will be crucial in our planning efforts to mitigate the extensive damage caused by flooding.”

“We look forward to working with all stakeholders in the state and counties on the Fairfield and New Haven Counties Feasibility Study to address flooding issues in Connecticut,” said Col. Christopher Barron, Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, New England District.

Himes announced the funding during a roundtable discussion he hosted with citizen advocates, local officials, town engineers, public works directors and emergency management personnel to address flood mitigation efforts across Southwest Connecticut. The discussion focused on the flood mitigation study’s purpose and scope in Fairfield County, as well as the need to identify a non-federal partner to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to carry it out. Representatives from the Army Corps discussed how the study could examine flood damage reduction, shore protection and bank stabilization.

Himes emphasized that improved flood control will help reduce damage to the environment, homes, businesses and local infrastructure that can be costly to communities and those who live along the water. The discussion encompassed both the long-standing riverine problem areas in Southwest Connecticut as well as the coastal areas that were impacted by Superstorm Sandy, which cost the state more than $360 million in damage.

The roundtable participants included:

• Stamford Mayor David Martin

• Michael Tetreau, First Selectman, Fairfield

• Gayle Weinstein, First Selectman, Weston

• Bill Brennan, First Selectman, Wilton

• John Kennelly, Chief of Planning, Army Corps of Engineers, New England District

• Chris Hatfield, Army Corps of Engineers, New England District

• Francis Pickering, Executive Director, Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WCCOG)

• Dave Hannon, Deputy Director, WCCOG

• Edward L. Gentile, Director of Public Works, Darien

• Denis McCarthy, Fire Chief from Norwalk and president of the Coastal Fire Chiefs, which includes all of the chiefs from Stratford to Greenwich

• Michael Yeosock, Senior Engineer, Norwalk, CT Department of Public Works

• Mark Barnhart, Director of Community and Economic Development in Fairfield

• Louis Casolo, Engineer for the City of Stamford

• Andrew Kingsbury, Fire Chief from Westport and head of Westport’s emergency management team

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. Fairfield Sun, 1000 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress