Greece, N.Y. (WHAM) - New shut-off valves, pipes and a berm structure have been installed in high-risk flood areas in the Town of Greece to help minimize flood damage in the future.
"It'll change your lifestyle real quick," said Bill Joyce, who dealt the wrath of Lake Ontario's floodwaters last year on Edgemere Drive. He and his wife live across the street from one of the new pump and valve systems being installed.
Joyce says he and his wife sometimes trekked through more than a foot of water to get home when flood waters swelled.
"To get into this area, it was like we were on a sandbar, driving through knee-deep water which lasted about two days, it was an interesting experience," said Joyce.
Two houses west of Joyce, Jean Meier recalls the mess that became of their road, when flood waters from the lake and nearby pond surged, wreaking havoc on low-laying homes, and making travel a headache.
Both say they're hopeful the new pump and valve system being installed outside their home will help decrease potential flood damages in the future.
"Oh sure, anything that will make it better," said Meier. "It was pumps going to constantly to keep our street dry enough so we could drive on it."
"It’s a great idea," he said. "It was a long time coming."
Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich released photos Monday afternoon showing the new additions.
"Even though we had substantial pumps out there, we can't pump a whole pond," said Reilich.
During the severe flooding in 2017, high lake and pond levels caused water to surge back up storm pipes and flood roads along the Lake Ontario shoreline. The town used 41 pumps ranging from 4” to 8” in an effort to keep flood waters from completely shutting down roads. The pumps were maintained on a 24/7 basis during the storm surges.
Reilich says the measures being taken by the town will be necessary in the future until lake levels are lowered for good.
"We are certainly in a position where it's possible to have a repeat of last year," said Reilich. "It's a matter of time until we have to deal with it again, unless the (Plan 2014) is changed."
Officials with the Department of Public Works researched the problems and determined installing the valves and new piping would help to lessen the use of the pumps. Town workers are working to install the pipes and valves in 11 locations, ranging from 8-30". Those locations include Old Edgemere Drive between Wake Drive and Goodwin Park.
A raised berm structure is also being built by Edgemere Drive and the Kodak Pump Station, along Round Pond.
The town is also planning to have sandbags filled and ready for people in need, as well and for pumps to be deployed.
Reilich says the current projects cost about $800k, he estimates both will be complete by spring.