Hurricane Irene hit the Catskills Region of New York State causing widespread flooding and flood-related damages.

Flood Recovery and Mitigation

Location

New York, USA

The Storm

Hurricane Irene was a large and destructive tropical cyclone that affected much of the Caribbean and east coast of the United States during late August 2011.  Irene hit the Catskills Region of New York State as a tropical storm on August 28, 2011, causing widespread flooding and flood-related damages. 

Within 24 hours following Irene, our team members were on the ground in the Catskills, guiding emergency stream restoration; inspecting dams, bridges, and roadways; and working with local communities and permitting agencies to efficiently and safely respond to the myriad of emergency conditions that resulted from the storm.  This experience has armed us with a keen sense of the need for and logistics of stream mitigation and restoration efforts.

This destructive event was an important catalyst for flood analysis in the Catskills.  Our approach to analyzing flooding is rooted in sound, scientific practices but goes well beyond the technical realm. Addressing flooding requires a multi-faceted approach, only part of which involves technical issues. Critical to the success of such projects is gaining a comprehensive understanding of the unique problems, consideration of public sentiment and individual neighborhood history, educating local officials, assessing the likelihood of successful permitting of mitigation alternatives, and evaluating potential funding sources.

Designing solutions

Our team has conducted or is currently conducting flood analysis and mitigation assessment in 28 towns, villages, and hamlets throughout the Catskills Region, which has led to the design and implementation of a wide range of flood mitigation projects.  We have provided the following services:

  • Emergency Response and Field Design
  • Damage Assessment
  • FEMA Reporting
  • Land Survey
  • Drone Flights, Mapping, and Survey
  • Flood Analysis and Mitigation Assessment
  • Geomorphic Assessment
  • Engineering Analysis
  • Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modelling
  • Public Outreach and Inclusion
  • Engineering Design of:
    • Streambank Repair and Stabilization
    • Stream Channel Restoration
    • Bridge and Culvert Replacement
    • Floodplain Enhancement, Restoration and Reconnection
    • Dam Removal
  • Local, State, and Federal Regulatory Permitting
  • Grant Assistance
  • Preparation of Bid Documents
  • Bid Assistance
  • Construction Phase Assistance
  • Post Construction Monitoring
  • FEMA Map Revisions (CLOMRs and LOMRs)

Gaining consensus

Our designs are based upon science and engineering, but our solutions are formulated by listening to the community, understanding their needs, and working around constraints to develop the best possible path forward. Each community is different, and each solution is unique because while we design projects, together we build communities.

Flood recovery and mitigation after Hurricane Irene