Town mulls removing homes from Horton Avenue

While Riverhead officials try to help homeowners evacuated from their
homes during this week’s storm, they acknowledged Thursday that the
long term solution to the flooding problem on Horton Avenue may be for
the town to buy those homes and install more drainage. Officials said
the section of Horton Avenue near the recently-built traffic circle has
always been prone to flooding because it is at the bottom of a hill,
and drainage from all directions empties into it.
“For some of the
houses, maybe it’s time they’re torn down, and we don’t put families in
harm’s way,” Supervisor Sean Walter said Tuesday.
Mr. Walter said he would hope to use Federal Emergency Management Agency money to buy the homes and relocate the families.
It wouldn’t be the first time such a move was made on Horton Avenue, Councilman John Dunleavy said.
in the early 1980s, the town had a problem with flooding in that area,”
Mr. Dunleavy said. “So with federal Housing and Urban Development
agency funds, we purchased some of the homes and the town made a park
and a little pond” for drainage.
“We have to look at that area and
see if we need to purchase more homes and to make that into a larger
recharge basin,” he added.
There was a recharge basin installed when
the Horton Avenue traffic circle was built three years ago, but because
the groundwater water was already high in this area, it couldn’t be
built that deep, officials said. They said it would have been
impossible to built a drainage system large enough to handle eight
inches of rain in this area.
“It worked, we just got too much water,” Mr. Dunleavy said.
town official ask that anyone left homeless by the storm call Police
Chief David Hegermiller’s office at 727-4500 ext. 335, and they will in
turn try to connect those people with the American Red Cross. Mr.
Walter said if they can’t get through to the chief’s office, they
should contact his office at 727-3200 ext. 251.