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For Release: Thursday, May 16, 2013

Village of Herkimer Flood Control Exercise Planned at Mohawk Street on May 22

Governor Cuomo's NY Works Program Provided $624,000 for Repairs

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Village of Herkimer are planning an exercise to erect the Mohawk Street closure wall of the Herkimer Flood Control Project on Wednesday, May 22, beginning at approximately 7:00 a.m. Traffic will be detoured away from Mohawk Street as both lanes of Mohawk Street will need to be closed during the planned deployment of the entire flood wall closure.

DEC is charged with overall implementation and maintenance of the joint DEC/ Army Corps of Engineers Flood Control Project in Herkimer, NY. Part of this project requires the erection of an eight-foot-high, aluminum flood wall across the entire breadth of Mohawk Street in Herkimer during imminent flood conditions.

DEC and the Village of Herkimer have planned this as a training exercise so Village staff are familiar with how to construct this flood wall should a flood emergency develop. The exercise will also ensure the closure plates and wall are in good working order and able to be quickly assembled. The purpose of the eight-foot-high flood wall is to keep flood waters from the Mohawk River from entering the village under the Thruway bridge in the event of large regional flooding.

DEC will lead the exercise, provide necessary background and technical assistance. The Village of Herkimer will erect the wall during the operational training exercise. Herkimer and Mohawk police will provide traffic control, with signage assistance and direction on detour routes from state Department of Transportation and the Thruway Authority.

The Village of Herkimer is protected by a series of levees, nine ponding areas, two closure structures (one located on the Conrail tracks behind Walmart and the second at the site of the exercise on Mohawk Street) and two pump stations. This joint exercise is part of an ongoing effort to provide staff with the information and hands-on training necessary to ensure the protection of the community against flooding.

The Herkimer Flood Control Project received $624,000 under Governor Cuomo's New York Works program. The work directed by DEC was started last summer, continues this year and includes:

  • tree removal within the adjacent easement areas of the levee system surrounding the entire village;
  • video camera inspection and cleaning of all pipe and gate valve systems;
  • inspection of all ditch lines and cleaning where necessary;
  • inspection and rebuilding of 11 gate valve systems within the levee systems;
  • Repair and cleaning of closure plates for two erectable wall closures;
  • Clearing of shoals and removal of debris in Bellinger Brook adjacent to the levee system/Ponding Area One; and
  • survey, marking and placing monuments on all project lands and easements.

In addition, the main drainage from the Petrie Development levee draining Mirror Lake and adjacent levee was cleared of all tree growth, stumps grubbed out, and a clear, unobstructed channel restored. The drainage within Ponding Area Five was restored to original trapezoidal shape, and adjacent brush and trees were cleared from the Thruway berm.

Work still underway on the project includes updating the two pump stations for draining interior areas of the Village. This includes rebuilding the pumps and installing automated warning systems.

Questions about the exercise can be directed to Village of Herkimer, Peter Macri at (315) 360-0352 or Carl Quance, with the DEC's Bureau of Flood Protection at (315) 337-1390. Questions pertaining to planned traffic detours and schedules should be directed to Jim Piccola, NYSDOT Public Information Office, at (315) 793-2414.

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