A Call for Federal Help to Fix Moodna Creek

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A Hudson Valley congresswoman wants the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to step in and provide long term recovery and flood prevention to the Moodna Creek Watershed in Orange County.

After Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, the Moodna Creek, which is a Hudson River tributary, swelled with water, overflowing its banks, and flooded the nearly 200-square mile watershed.

Congresswoman Nan Hayworth says she's hoping the Army Corps of Engineers can supplement some of the county's cost for repairs and improvements.

Orange County's Planning Commissioner, David Church, said the Corps could provide some much needed help, such as "acquire wetland properties to store more water, which has other benefits like habitat." But Church noted that structural improvements like flood walls or levies would also help prevent future damage. 

The biggest concern, according to Church, is paying for improvements from the Corps of Engineers. He said traditionally they only pick up half of the bill. Church said the county simply cannot afford a multi-million dollar project. "Typically their work requires a minimum of 50 percent local cost sharing, and, in this current economy, that's just beyond a small upstate town or county to do all of this type of work on our own initiative," he said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not return calls for comment.