On the eve of the 3rd anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano highlighted the many post-storm Mitigation and Resiliency projects going on Countywide – most notably at the hard-hit Bay Park Wastewater Plant.
The announcement came during a news conference outside the Plant and its neighboring park, in East Rockaway, where County Executive Mangano was joined by Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves; County Legislators: Denise Ford and Howard Kopel; Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management Craig Craft, and Deputy Commissioner Paul Wilders; Frank Kirby, Chief of Patrol for the Nassau County Police Department; Shila Shah-Gavnoudias, Commissioner of the Department of Public Works; and Nassau County Fire Marshal John Priest.
“Nassau County was one of the hardest hit areas by Superstorm Sandy and we have made great progress in our recovery efforts,” County Executive Mangano said.” We continue to rebuild our infrastructure bigger and stronger than ever before.”
Mangano referred to the project at the Bay Park Wastewater Treatment Plant, as the “most ambitious post-Superstorm Sandy infrastructure and mitigation project on the East Coast and perhaps the best example of strengthening infrastructure against future storms.”
“Comprehensive hardening and resiliency projects are underway to protect the Bay Park Wastewater Treatment Plant from future flooding and tidal surges, while transforming the neighboring park into an athletic complex that includes new turf baseball fields, tennis courts, a dog run and improved access to bulkhead along East Rockaway Channel.
The resiliency project for the Wastewater Treatment Plant includes construction of an earthen berm and a decorative concrete wall surrounding it – built to withstand a 500-year storm or tidal surge of up to 18 feet. The County Executive said this component of the project “is critical” as a nine-foot tidal surge flooded the plant during Superstorm Sandy and resulted in damage to the facility’s electrical system – causing it to go offline for almost two days. The shutdown caused the collection system to breach in two locations, sending raw sewage into the surrounding community of Bay Park and in Baldwin.
Today, 200 construction workers and 55 program and construction managers are on-site, to repair and mitigate the storm-stricken wastewater treatment plant. Rehabilitation of the plant’s Electrical Distribution System is also underway, including five substations and over five miles of electrical duct banks;
Other work includes:
o rehabilitation of four primary engine generators, thus eliminating full time usage of temporary outdoor power generators;
o rehabilitation digester facilities and executed startup of new odor control facilities – significantly reducing odor emissions from the facility;
o rehabilitation of final settling tanks; and
o measures to mitigate the Pump Stations against future storms.
“Together, these projects will reduce the risk to the plant during and following future storm events, subsequently protecting public health and safety and community welfare,” Mangano said, as he thanked Governor Cuomo, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, those at FEMA and the entire County Legislature for supporting these efforts and securing $830 million to make these repairs possible.
“Together, we continue to advocate for the funds necessary to build an Ocean Outfall Pipe to strengthen our marshlands and improve water quality in our Western Bays,” he added.
OTHER REPAIR/MITIGATION PROJECTS:
Barnes Avenue in Baldwin:
• Additional repair and mitigation projects continue throughout the County.
• At Barnes Avenue and Third Place in Baldwin – a system collapse occurred during the storm and a new wastewater pumping station and force main will be constructed in 2016 to lessen flow sewer flow.
West Shore Road in Bayville:
• On West Shore Road – where the roadway and seawall collapsed due to storm surge – more than 5,000 feet have been reconstructed and the final phase of repair and mitigation will take place in 2016.
• The County has installed emergency generators for the Bayville and Long Beach bridges to mitigate against the loss of operation of the bridges after large storm events.
• Superstorm Sandy damaged not only this park we stand at today, but other parks throughout Nassau.
• In fact, the County lost the pumps that operate the North Woodmere Park and Wantagh Park pools. Repairs and mitigation efforts are complete.
• North Woodmere and Bay Park’s irrigation systems were flooded and are now repaired and mitigated.
• Wantagh Park’s electrical distribution system was also damaged during Superstorm Sandy. The electrical distribution system was mitigated to raise the transformers and switchgear above the flood elevation.
• Superstorm Sandy also destroyed the Community Center at Wantagh Park and Administration Building at Cow Meadow Park. Both will be replaced in 2016.
• Milburn Creek Park’s lighting and bulkhead was damaged. Repairs will be complete in 2016.
PUBLIC SAFETY/EMERGENCY RESPONSE:
• While infrastructure repairs and mitigation efforts continue throughout the County, public safety initiatives and emergency response planning improvements have been completed, including:
• To ensure the health, safety and welfare of residents during future storms, the County has made and continues to make investments in public safety and emergency response initiatives.
• In preparation for a potential evacuation and/or response to widespread power outages, the County has purchased :
o 50 Portable Solar Traffic Signal Trailers;
o 8 Portable Solar Message Sign Trailers to assist in evacuations.
o Emergency Generator Trailers were purchased to power traffic signals at major intersections in the event of a wide area power outage.
o 6 Solar Traffic Camera Trailers were purchased to view real time traffic conditions at locations as needed during storms or evacuations.
o 2 Solar Highway Advisory Radio Trailers were purchased to will allow Operators at the Traffic Management Center to transmit real-time traffic information to motorists using the AM radio system.
o 2 Incident Management Response Trailers were purchased, which include cones, barricades, and portable signs needed to help detour traffic in an organized manor in the event of planned or unplanned closures of roadways.
• Throughout the South Shore, we will be replacing 145 traffic signals, upgrading communications to fiber optic, and installing traffic surveillance cameras and changeable message signs.
• Three years ago, the Nassau County Police Department not only lost a precinct to storm damage, but also lost its Marine Bureau facility – located here – where all major patrol vessel repair work is conducted.
• An upcoming project in 2016 to storm-harden the fueling station and the administration building to operate more efficiently especially during future storms.
• Saltwater from Superstorm Sandy resulted in damage to emergency response vehicles.
• While the vehicles were able to continue working in the flood waters, their long-term survivability was compromised.
• Accordingly, the County has purchased 20 ultra-high axle vehicles, through military surplus, to assist the fire service and first responders in flooded areas.
• OEM has also purchased all-terrain vehicles to assist first responders in hard to reach places.
• In fact, OEM continues to take many steps to prepare for and create a more resilient Nassau County. OEM has:
o strategically stationed emergency supplies throughout the County;
o increased generator supply, and communication capabilities;
o increased warehouse space for the stockpiling of disaster relief supplies; and
o enhanced the level of training for all county agencies, Cities, Towns, and Villages;
“So much has and continues to occur in Nassau County as a result of Superstorm Sandy,” County Executive Mangano said, in closing. “Through repairs, mitigation and other enhancements, Nassau County is better prepared to confront any pending weather related emergency. We are ready to help protect our residents, communities and way of life in Nassau County. I thank all those involved for their efforts.