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Nyack, Piermont: 2011 as the Year of Flooding

Local merchants battle flash floods, hurricane waters, mounting repair bills

Nyack's Edward Hopper House official declared 2011 "," but for some water-logged merchants and homeowners, 2011 was the year of flooding.

Hurricane Irene, coupled with a, has had an unprecedented effect on local properties. , West Nyackers , Piermont's Kane Park was and, on one occasion, a band of resourceful youngsters were able to .

Marianne Olive owns a strip of businesses along Main Street—including and —and spoke to village officials about flooding at a recent board of trustees meeting. During Irene, Olive combated rising water levels, clogged storm drains and, worst of all, damaged property.

"I covered the doors with plywood and sandbags," Oliver told trustees. "I'm trying to run a business, but to lose and lose again... there's a limit to how much I can handle. Something has to be done."

Olive said she has had to replace the hardwood floors in Olive's at least three times over the years, and has shelled out over $50,000 to fix water damage. "It puts a big hole in you for a long time," she added.

Trustees have acknowledged flooding is one of Nyack's cardinal problems, but a large, sweeping solution, like implementing a complex prevention system, .

Mayor Richard Kavesh and trustee Jen Laird-White—who will battle Kavesh this November for the mayoral seat—have both noted flood prevention is a centerpiece of their campaigns.

"We realize it's a terrible problem," Laird-White told Olive. "We're talking to the [federal government] and Army Corps. of Engineers." When Patch spoke with Laird-White after her , she cited the creek that runs through downtown and is prone to flooding as an issue she intends to tackle.

Piermont merchants did not fare better. The pier village was hit harder than Nyack by Irene, and the southern roadways were overcome with water and shut down for days. Laura Straus, who operates the newly-opened , saw her business become more than wet.

"We see flooding pretty frequently, but Irene was the worst," Straus said. The store's book shop, located in the rear, saw approximately six inches of rain water, according to Straus, and the ceiling leaked, as well.

"We're still patching and painting and repairing," Straus added.

Brian Duddy September 20, 2011 at 01:26 PM
Nyack severe flooding from Hurricane Irene from the 6 minute mark forward: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPuBRhnfKuw

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