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For Release: Thursday, September 13, 2012

DEC Hosts Mohawk River Flood Risk Forum

State and federal agencies led discussions on Mohawk River flooding and flood mitigation strategies during a public forum in Herkimer County today, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced.

The forum consisted of two panel discussions with presentations on flooding along the Mohawk River, flood responses, floodplain management requirements and flood mitigation.

The first panel examined flooding along the Mohawk River in 2006, the flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 and some of the findings regarding an assessment of critical facilities at risk. This assessment is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-funded project that assessed the risks to critical facilities associated with potential flooding along the Mohawk River from Utica to Schenectady. Critical facilities represent a particular risk to a community from flooding, and include places such as wastewater treatment plants, drinking water treatment facilities, large employers and power generation facilities. Communities can use this information to better prepare for flooding and to update their hazard mitigation plans.

The second panel included a discussion about the Mohawk River Water Coalition, restoration of the New York Canal, New York state's Mitigation Program, Floodplain Management Requirements and FEMA flood mapping.

Forum speakers included representatives of the United States Geological Survey, National Weather Service, Union College Geology Department, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, New York State Canal Corporation, New York State Office of Emergency Management, New York State Department of State and DEC.

The Flood Forum is part of the Mohawk River Mighty Waters Initiative established by U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko. Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo created a cabinet-level Mighty Waters Work Group that was tasked with promoting economic development, community revitalization, environmental sustainability and flood-hazard risk reduction in the Mohawk River Valley. The Mohawk River Basin Program, which is facilitated by DEC, is a task force of the Governor's Mighty Waters Working Group.

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