Letter: Background on ‘Muscle Wall’ proposal

Riverhead Muscle Wall
TIM GANNON PHOTO | A Muscle Wall on display Wednesday afternoon in downtown Riverhead.

To the Editor:

In response to concerns raised online in the News-Review’s coverage of Wednesday’s Muscle Wall demonstration, the Summerwind Square building was engineered, as per the current state Department of Environmental Conservation flood map, so that the building would be raised to an elevation at which it didn’t flood during Hurricane Sandy or the other storms and high tides we have experienced.

I contacted Muscle Wall after the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Suffolk County came to a Town Board work session and said we should start planning for future storm events.

I contacted Muscle Wall due to the flooding of town-owned critical infrastructure, such as sewer and water facilities, and highways.

We should also strive to protect of our historical buildings, such as those at the East End Arts campus, as well as the investment in revitalization of downtown for the small businesses that were catastrophically affected by Sandy and had to close their doors for long periods of time. (Private property owners have received discounts on insurance premiums, according to Muscle Wall.)

Sandy has raised the bar for catastrophic events.  County, state and federal funding will be available for planned mitigation. We as a town should be ready to capture the funding when it is available!

Muscle Wall is FEMA approved, however, we would send out for an RFP to ensure the best practical solution and the protection of the town.

Jodi Giglio

councilperson, Riverhead Town Board