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May 16, 2014

Priorities listed for inundation eradication

KEENE — Flood reconstruction projects identified by the Jay/Keene NY Rising Committee are prioritized through risk analysis.

State protocol required planners to score projects according to assigned impact factors and risk-reduction analysis.

Several high-cost projects look to improve bridge and culvert infrastructure, while others would re-engineer and restore waterways for flood mitigation. 

The 160-page proposal incorporates detailed maps showing key sites for proposed flood prevention work in the towns of Keene and Jay, including the hamlets of St. Huberts, Keene Valley, Upper Jay and AuSable Forks.



Some of the priority projects and the funding allotted to them are:

• Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) mapping of detailed topographic data for the entirety of the Ausable River watershed. The cost of the project is estimated to be $578,356. (LIDAR uses pulsed laser imagery to capture structures under the vegetation and soils and can identify ancient landslide areas and other underground geologic hazards.)

• Purchase of easements and development rights: Identify parcels for conservation easements and municipal purchase to protect floodplain and other open space along the Ausable River and its major tributaries. The costs of the program are capped at $750,000.

• Restoration and flood mitigation at Beede Brook (Keene Valley), $276,033.

• Restoration and flood mitigation at Johns Brook (Keene Valley) evolves in four parts: replace the highway bridges; redesign the outlet of Little Johns Brook to more efficiently meet the East Branch of the Ausable River; reintroduce multiple flow paths and high flow channels on the Johns Brook alluvial; and restore in-stream habitat along Johns Brook and secondary channels. Estimated cost is $1.4 million.

• Restoration and flood mitigation at Gulf Brook with several options proposed to cost between $1.6 and $3.8 million.

• Buy water rescue equipment for Keene Volunteer Fire Department, $28,790.

• Design and build Springfield Road (Jay) storm drainage system, $929,451.

• Ice Jam study in Jay, $80,000.

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