Highland Falls officials: Some homes badly affected by storm; damage could have been prevented
Highland Falls officials say they are still surveying the damage from Tuesday’s storm.
Some homes' foundations were seriously affected, even though it wasn't a huge storm, officials say.
D’Onofrio added he is trying to get state and public officials back together to address the repairs that neither the village or residents can pay for right now.
Brian Frederickson, an NYPD officer and father of five, showed News 12 the latest damage behind his home along the notorious Highland Brook that cuts through Highland Falls.
He pointed to a growing gap beneath a broken retaining wall, laying diagonally in the brook.
"Whatever rocks and dirt were under there are now gone," Frederickson said.
The wall used to hold up an 8-foot wide path behind the home and protect the home's structure.
The path is completely gone.
The brook, still high from Tuesday night's storm, is now chipping away at the home's foundation.
The retaining wall, which is 45 feet long, came off during the July 9 storm. Now, anytime it rains substantially, there is an increased risk to the foundation.
Village officials said Wednesday that replacing one retaining wall around the brook could cost around $200,000.
The Fredericksons did not receive federal aid following the July 9th storm and were not income-eligible for state aid.
They spent much of their savings repairing their actual home.
"It was damaged through no part of our own," Frederickson said. "It was a natural disaster. We just got left here and it exacerbates as we wait."
Retaining walls were pulled into the water at other points along the brook.
Highland Falls Mayor D'Onofrio said he is still trying to make the case to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover damage at private properties on the brook.
"Come on. Take care of these people," the mayor said at his office as he pointed to the flood-prone area on a map of the village. "Take care of these people. I'm fighting for that. It's a tough fight with FEMA."
FEMA has previously denied any individual assistance (I.A.) for homeowners affected by the July 9th storm.
D'Onofrio is also trying to regather state and federal officials to figure out how to minimize storm water runoff into the brook from high-elevation properties owned by the state and by the US Military Academy at West Point.
Frederickson said something has to happen soon because he is not sure how many more beatings the unprotected banks behind his home can take.
"This is all new stuff over here," he said, pointing to a cliff over a deepening indent that is reaching under the house. "This is going to be the main area of concern now for us. We used to have land that gave us a buffer for this side of the house. Now that's gone."