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Salem City Council looks at long-term flooding solutions

Posted by Justin Rice  October 18, 2011 10:58 AM

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The city engineer and a consultant team presented long-term plans for Salem’s flood-control system to the City Council last night in a meeting that was scheduled before the Oct. 4 storm that flooded homes and businesses across the city.

“This was a review of where we are with some of the flooding issues throughout the city,” Ward 1 City Councilor Robert McCarthy said during a telephone interview this morning. “It was more of a detailed analysis of where we are and what we’ve accomplished to this point and what we want to accomplish down the road.

“I thought it went well. It was a good review of the different issues we have and the potential to correct the issues and identifying potentials for grants to do stuff and do some of the larger projects.”

McCarthy said several potential projects were discussed last night, including a proposal for a tide gate at the intersection of Webb and Derby streets. The tide gate could help mitigate flood damage to low-lying areas such as Forrester and Emmerton streets when heavy rains occur during high tide like they did on Oct. 4.

“That would hopefully help some,” McCarthy said.

This spring the city is planning to install a new storm drain that would funnel rain water from Essex Street to Becket Street.

McCarthy also said the city is in the loop for a MEMA grant that could help pay for some of these projects.

“We should hear in the next couple months whether it comes through,” he said before adding. “I think [the engineers] got a handle on what needs to be done. Obviously it’s always identifying the issues regarding flooding and how to mitigate them.”

Justin A. Rice can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com.

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