Author Topic: As Unsafe Canal Embankments are Cleared, so is the need for Mandatory Flood Insurance  (Read 44 times)

Doug K

  • ECNA Co-Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1103
  • Choosing to Live FREE of Social Media Influences
  • Location: Port Byron NY
    • ECNA US Website
While many of the guests that frequent the New York State Canal Corporation's property may disagree, the need to clear unsafe earthen embankments is MOST important to those neighbors living adjacent to the canal or living below one of it's 125 miles of Earthen Embankment Dams. While not a popular stand with the tens of thousands of Erie Trail Users who hike, walk or bike along the Empire Trail System, and who may not like the new panoramic views they are seeing now, those folks should understand it's about the stakeholders of this embankment clearing, those living below them in constant danger.

There is a cost for keeping canal embankments unsafe... and it will be paid for by it's neighbors, in the form of Flood Insurance Premiums.

For true Erie Canal neighbors, it's always been about SAFETY FIRST, and that includes NOT having to obtain Flood Insurance policies, and saving our wallets from emptying out. Mandatory Flood Insurance is NOT a choice, it's based on Flood Inundation Mapping that is done with FEMA oversight.

FEMA sets the rules for mapping, and works with property owners to identify potential flooding issues on their property that may affect the public around them.

FEMA also handle the National Flood Insurance Plan as well, to insure that all property owners living within a designated Flood Zone can obtain Insurance, even if their own company can't or won't supply it.

In 2018, when the NY Canal Corporation undertook their Canal Embankment Restoration Project known as EERP, they went through the painstaking process of having all the FEMA flood Maps, along the Erie Canal, updated to reflect the flood potential that these canal embankments had created. Many New York County maps, for Towns & Villages inside those Canal Communities, were changed, updated with NEW flood information. The only exception appears to be Wayne County, for some unknow reason it's Town/ Village maps were NOT updated. But Monroe County was, as well as counties EAST of Wayne County have new FEMA maps.

Brockport was one of those areas... and here's the the Before & After FEMA Flood maps from 2008 and 2018 for the surrounding area.



As you can see the ENTIRE area in the Village of Brockport and the much of the towns of Sweden & Clarkson went from a Zone X, with no danger of flooding,  to a Zone A, AE, AO. It's a huge change which could result in MANDATORY flood insurance for many homeowners if the unsafe Canal Embankment conditions were not addressed.

The same thing happened to many communities in and around Rochester, here's the maps from one eastside town & village.



FAIRPORT - PERINTON 2008




FAIRPORT - PERINTON 2018




The original Canal Embankment Restoration Project was met with "reluctant acceptance" by some communities, mostly on the western side of Monroe County, through Orleans & Niagara Counties, all the way to Erie County. In those sections many of the most unsafe earthen embankments were cleared of overgrown trees and have now been planted with grass covering, there are still more embankments that will need clearing & repair as time goes on and the Canal Corporation fixes it's earthen dam safety nightmare.

And while these westside communities worked WITH the NY State Canal Corporation to make sure their communities were safe, some people in the Rochester area fought against these changes and this canal safety project. They formed groups to fight the work, and managed to convince a few towns on the east side of Rochester, to stop the Embankment Restoration project from making their communities safer.

Through litigation on environmental review specifics for the Canal Embankment project, they put a hold on work in their own neighborhoods & towns, and those unsafe embankments are still a threat today, along with the need for those NEIGHBORS living near the canal to consider they may be REQUIRED to purchase flood insurance in the future.

The Earthen Embankment Repair Work went on for many canal communities in the western end of the Erie Canal. Cleared embankment dams are safe embankment dams and so it stands to reason that once the restoration work was completed the FEMA Flood maps would be updated, and the maps would reflect the new safer earthen dams. And that change has now come to pass, but only where these canal embankments have been repaired.

Here's the NEW updated FEMA Flood Map for Brockport and the surrounding area. You will see that is has reverted back to it's 2008 version, with a few minor changes




https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/maps/Monroe/Village%20of%20Brockport/Figure%20106G_%20FEMA%20Flood%20Hazard%20Areas%20-%20Town%20of%20Sweden%20and%20Village%20of%20Brockport.pdf

And, as a matter of FACT... all of the county FEMA Maps WEST of Brockport have also been updated. Here's a an image of one map and a list of other Cities, Towns & Villages where Canal Embankments have been repaired and Flood risk has been minimized.



And what about those Eastside Canal Communities in Monroe County?

Well, those towns & villages are the ONLY ones that still have FEMA Maps showing flood inundation across their entire area, because unsafe earthen dams on the canal can flood everywhere in those communities. The information is there, the Canal Corporation has been crystal clear on the danger of both flooding & the need for Flood Insurance, just look at the maps.

https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/maps/Monroe/Town%20of%20Henrietta/Figure%2099G_%20FEMA%20Flood%20Hazard%20Areas%20-%20Town%20of%20Henrietta.pdf

https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/maps/Monroe/Town%20of%20Pittsford/Figure%2098G_%20FEMA%20Flood%20Hazard%20Areas%20-%20Town%20and%20Village%20of%20Pittsford.pdf

https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/maps/Monroe/Village%20of%20Fairport/Figure%2097G_%20FEMA%20Flood%20Hazard%20Areas%20-%20Town%20of%20Perinton%20and%20Village%20of%20Fairport.pdf


And canal embankments in those eastside communities are still covered with trees, making them unsafe, and those living around them equally unsafe. "Life & Death" public safety issues, along the Erie Canal Embankments, has been ignored by all of the LEADERS of these communities which is the most shameful part.

And there are STILL some people in those communities, who are actively fighting against the NEWEST Canal Corporation Embankment Integrity Program that is meant to fix these old, unsafe earth dams, keeping their neighbors & community unsafe and in peril. It's also as shameful as the Town & Village Leaders who are ignoring the safety issues and NOT speaking out against this group.

But now community leader silence, and the actions of these misguided group of people, is placing entire communities "in peril". And it's still from canal FLOODING and now it just be also include having to pay for Flood Insurance as a result. Sadly there doesn't seem to be an end to this "encouraged ignorance"

I've always believed "An informed Public is a SAFE public".

I can only suggest that if you live NEAR or NEXT TO any Canal Embankment, you should get your information on Canal Safety from right the source. Follow th link below to learn about how canal safety affects you.

Or, simply pay for Flood Insurance because because someone else says Trees or Shade are more important than your personal safety



https://ecna.createaforum.com/general-discussion/t762/


https://ecna.us/eeip/


https://www.canals.ny.gov/Earthen_Embankment/index.html



« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 12:41:38 pm by Doug K »

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


Doug K

  • ECNA Co-Founder
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1103
  • Choosing to Live FREE of Social Media Influences
  • Location: Port Byron NY
    • ECNA US Website
And amazingly, since YESTERDAY when these maps were checked and links were created, the New York State Canal Corporation has now released UPDATED FEMA maps for Perinton, Fairport, Henrietta, etc...and voila, No Flood Zone A ratings.

Those "new" maps are all dated with a January 27, 2021 revision, not yesterday's date, not today's. Seems these FEMA maps had been DONE all along. but weren't posted for some odd reason until THIS POST showed up on the ECNA Forum website.

Hmm... Interesting. It would appear that there is no danger now, which doesn't bode well for a property owners who stated otherwise just a few years ago.

Well anyway, It's nice to know the NYS Canal Corporation are listening. Too bad they still can't hear the voices of their Canal Neighbors asking where the promised Empire Trail Natural Barrier Screening is for all of the property owners who have had their privacy & sense of security vanish, along with the trees on their canal embankments.

Mr. Stratton, are you listening?