GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Flooding issues have plagued southern Westchester for years, particularly near the Saw Mill River and Bronx River parkways.
Many of the problems are caused by stormwater runoff that pours down from hills and valleys and overwhelms rivers, lakes and streams that can't handle a high volume of water.
"Too many properties in our region are victim to one or both," said Westchester County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings). "It's not only big rivers that cause big problems."
Shimsky, the majority whip on the county board of legislators and chairman of the Saw Mill River Stormwater Advisory Board, told the Greenburgh Conservation Advisory Council there are many challenges in trying to deal with stormwater management and that multiple solutions are needed.
"There's no one-stop shopping here," Shimsky said. "We really have to understand more as local governments about how water works."
Debris in waterways and clogged culverts are two culprits that lead to flooding, along with required yet often ignored maintenance that can be "very labor intensive work, and sometimes can be dangerous work," according to Shimsky.
Shimsky and Emily Vail, estuary watershed outreach specialist for the State Department of Environmental Conservation's Hudson River Estuary Program, said it's also vital that new developments consider using green infrastructure to help reduce runoff and local governments adopt specific stormwater management laws.
"If we keep going down the right paths we'll make a difference in our neighborhoods," Shimsky said.
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