Riverhead seeks federal money to purchase flood damaged Horton Avenue homes

Drew Achilich presents Horton Avenue flood victims Ivory Brown
(left) and Linda Hobson with a check for $4,122.23. The money
was raised through T-shirt sales.

Six months after a late March storm flooded a dozen homes on Horton
Avenue in Riverhead, six families will most likely never return to
their homes and some are still without a functioning water heater.
But it appears Riverhead Town is doing its part to find a long-term
solution to persistent flooding in that area by seeking a $3.6 million
competitive federal grant to purchase the properties that were worst
hit by the late March storm.
Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said the town is submitting an
application today, Thursday, for a grant from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency to buy the properties. The town will submit the grant
to the State Emergency Management Office which then passes the application on to the federal government.
“The ultimate goal is to acquire nine properties for a total of 12
homes and convert that land into constructed wetlands,” Chief
Hegermiller said adding that half the homes are currently occupied.
The town will  know whether or not it is awarded the grant next April, Chief Hegermiller said.
Chief Hegermiller said the town is also expecting about $600,000 in
federal money for reimbursement of emergency work done during and after
the storm. He could not say when the town expects that money to be
On a smaller, more local level, a Baiting Hollow teen presented flood
victims with a check totaling $4,122.23 at Riverhead High School Wednesday evening, money raised
by T-shirts sold in the school and around town.
The white T-shirts with blue lettering were designed by Riverhead High
School junior Drew Achilich. Drew said the T-shirt
sales, which are ongoing, went far better than he expected.
Horton Avenue flood victim turned community activist Linda Hobson said the money will be used to replace damaged belongings.
“It’s a great feeling,” Drew said. “To do as much to make Riverhead a better place.”
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