GREECE, N.Y. — The Department of Public Works crews are digging through snow and frozen ground in the town of Greece to prevent a repeat of the 2017 floods.

“All we were doing was pumping the streets into the lake and the lake was filling back up and into the ponds and it was just a vicious circle. We couldn’t get ahead of it. This will hopefully minimize that effort,” says Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich.

The first of 11 shut-off valves and new piping up to 30 inches in diameter are going in below ground across the community. DPW can close them during high lake levels to reduce the need for pumping out submerged homes.

“We wanted to have them in place before spring and before another episode might occur, so we are starting the work in the winter as soon as we could get the contracts in place,” said Reilich.

The first valve around Wake Drive and Goodwin Park has been considered a critical location. The area took much of the brunt of last year’s flooding, and the most severe damage from flooding which caused Edgemere Drive to be closed for an extended period of time.

“We’re waiting right now for the DEC to give us our permits and once they give us our permit, we are putting a clay berm there,” said Reilich.

The new berm near the Kodak Pump Station will act as barrier to protect homes and ensure the road is safe for travel, but for some residents hit by the flood, they are still impacted by the damage.

“Our break wall and dock were underwater for at least two months,” says Greece resident Rick Albright. He tells Spectrum News it will cost roughly $62,000 alone to replace, but he isn’t too distraught.

He adds he’s satisfied with the efforts made by town and doesn’t plan on moving anytime soon.

“If this becomes an annual affair, we might consider that, but it’s a great place to be and living through one year of problems like that still makes it worth it to live here,” said Albright.

The government reimbursed the state $1.5 million and some of that money was spent last year on repairs. Reilich says the estimate of this project will cost $800,000.

Town officials say on February 13, residents will be able to attend a meeting to see progress of the installment.

“We need to do this to protect the homeowners in our town,” added Reilich.

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