New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced a $1.6 million investment towards making dams across the state more resilient to storms to help control flooding. According to the governor’s office, the eight NY Works projects will include upgrades and repairs to embankments and outlet valves, erosion control, expanding piping and raising the height of some dams to increase storm water storage capacity.
“Through the NY Works program, we are making critical investments to create jobs and build a stronger and more resilient New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “These projects will overhaul existing dams across the State, helping to control water levels, prevent flooding and ultimately ensure safer communities.”
Improvements will be made this month to Taylor Pond Dam in Clinton County, Marcell Rothe Dam in Putnam County and Papish Pond Dam in Cortland County.
Man-made global warming is contributing to more severe and prolonged rainstorms that lead to increased flooding. New York State is preparing for more extreme weather in the future with the dam investments. “There’s no place for the U.S. where the models aren’t, on average, showing an increase in extreme precipitation,” said Kenneth Kunkel, a climate scientist with the National Climatic Data Center, in an article about Florida’s recent record rainfall.
In the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 report card on the state of the nation’s infrastructure, dams received a D grade. The average age of the nation’s 84,000 dams is 52-years-old with 14,000 high-hazard dams, 4,000 deficient dams and 2,000 deficient high-hazard dams. The report states that a $21 billion investment would be needed to repair the “aging, yet critical, high-hazard dams.”
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