Governor Hochul Signs Legislation Naming Chair of Upstate Flood Mitigation Task Force

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that she has signed new legislation (S.8204a/A.9177) naming Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton as Chair of the Upstate Flood Mitigation Task Force. The task force will identify and recommend reasonable measures that can be taken to enhance flood management and mitigation along the Erie Canal. The task force will meet for the first time on August 22.

“As New York experiences more extreme weather events due to climate change, it is more important than ever before that we plan for and prioritize resiliency measures,” Governor Hochul said. “Countless New York communities are at risk of climate-related dangers like flooding and storm damage. By convening the Upstate Flood Mitigation Task force, we are taking action to identify flood mitigation strategies that will protect the people who live in communities along the Erie Canal , and ultimately help to relieve these communities from the impacts of repeated flooding.”

The new taskforce will explore the cost or impact of flooding along the Erie Canal over the last five years to agriculture, transportation, infrastructure, land use, public health, insurance, tourism, recreation, and power generation. In addition, the taskforce will assess the canal system operation, procedures and plans that may impact flood mitigation and management and identify adaptive measures, with costs, that could be executed to mitigate flood damages. The taskforce will prepare a report by July 1, 2023, to publicly site its findings.

State Senator John W. Mannion said, “The regular flooding of homes and business along Cross Lake and the Seneca River is unacceptable and demands a real solution from the State of New York. My legislation brings to life the dormant Upstate Flood Mitigation Task Force with a charge to deliverable action flood mitigation strategies within twelve months. I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for signing this into law and for being a strong partner on resolving the devastating and systemic flooding that has plagued these communities.”

Assemblymember Al Stirpe said, “This is a tremendous victory for Central New York, helping protect our communities from flash floods and other extreme weather events. This law provides the Upstate Flood Mitigation Task Force with the urgency and diligence required to address this issue head on and protect our communities and Designing a knowledgeable businesses and experienced leader to the task force will kickstart efforts of finding the solutions to stop this ongoing problem.”

Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “I am pleased to serve as the designated chair of the Upstate Flood Mitigation Taskforce. By coming together with my state agency colleagues and leading subject matter experts in hydrology, civil engineering, conservation, and climate change, I am confident that the Taskforce’s collaboration, research and recommendations will provide a roadmap for improved water management.”

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