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Curbing the high-tide flooding in Inwood

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Town of Hempstead officials said they are ready to move on a $2.7 million project federal and state that aims to curb high-tide flooding in a portion of Inwood by installing check vales, drains and raising the roadways.

Floodwaters after high tides and storms have weakened the asphalt roads and damaged the curbs and sidewalks. In addition, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is woefully out of date. The work is planned for Bayswater Boulevard, Davis Avenue, Chestnut, Maple and Walnut roads and Peppe Drive.

“According to the Engineering Department we have a consultant currently preparing the necessary paperwork to obtain permission from the legal property owners to restore private property affected by the road raising,” said Susan Trenkle-Pokalsky, a town spokeswoman. “HUD/GOSR require extensive research and documentation for this process. The drawings are 99 percent complete and will be finalized after we obtain all homeowner permission.”

HUD is the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. GOSR is the Governor’s Office of Storm Recover that was established in 2013 to coordinate rebuilding after Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Sandy.

The work cannot start too soon for at least three Inwood residents. Francisco Mendez lives on Walnut Road and endured property damage in Sandy. “We want to see it done, it affects us,” Mendez, who owns a landscaping company that carries his surname. “I had to get a car replaced and it cost a lot of money to replace.”

Across the street, Shan Abas, moved into the neighborhood three years ago, and heard about the damage Sandy caused. “This area always floods,” said Abas, who splits his working time between industrial technology and driving a limousine. “[The work] should have done a long time ago.” He said flooding caused $10,000 in damage to his Walnut Street home.

Roughly 20 Inwood residents attended a meeting on the proposed project at the Five Towns Community Center in February. Nassau County and town officials, along with outside engineers presented the plan that officials called “a vast improvement.”

The work will intrude on resident property, the engineers said, depending on how much road raising will be done on the specific streets. Many of the properties will have varying sizes of drain installed and plans are on the drawing board to ensure the work is being done on a rotating basis.

New concrete curbing, grass utility areas, concrete sidewalk, driveway aprons and ADA compliant concrete handicap ramps will be installed. The officials noted that restoration of all property will be replaced “in-kind” as it was before. Plans include the installation of water quality units within a storm drainage system to help in eliminating waterway pollution.

Walter, a Peppe Drive resident who declined to give his last name, pointed to a bench on his porch and said the Sandy floodwaters exceed the height of the bench, nearly four feet. “I think it’s a good thing,” he said, about the proposed project. “Twice a month, with a full moon, it floods here,” noting that the water creeps down from Chestnut Road.

Have an opinion on reducing flooding? Send your letter to the editor to jbessen@liherald.com.