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Darien Candidates Vow To Attack Flooding

DARIEN, Conn. – As residents who have lived through the storms of 2007 and the recent Hurricane Irene know, flooding can be a big problem in Darien. It is one that both Democratic and Republican candidates for first selectman hope to address once they take office.

Democratic candidate John Lundeen criticized the incumbent Republicans for identifying flooding as a major issue but not doing enough to fix it. "Our community has seen a lack of progress on this acknowledged 'flooding crisis' – no updated strategy, no update on the consultants Milone and MacBroom who were hired and completed a study of our five watersheds, which included recommendations for action, and no formation of the Flood and Erosion Control Board," Lundeen said.

Republican Jayme Stevenson said steps have been taken. The current Board of Selectmen received recommendations from the Flood Mitigation Strategy Committee, who spent a great deal of time going over Milone and MacBroom's studies. She said that some suggestions are long-term policy suggestions that would require action by Planning and Zoning and the hiring of additonal personnel. Other recommendations included a commitment to continue current practices.

"Acting on the FMSC's recommendations, our board voted to move forward with the engineering of two neighborhood projects - one on West Avenue and one on Kelsey street.  The engineering of these projects should be complete this year," she said.

Stevenson also supports the creation of a Flood and Erosion Control Board and looks forward to working with it to further reduce flooding. She also wants to take other avenues to help cut flooding.

"One flood mitigation focus of mine will be to address the flooding under the Metro North train tracks on the Post Road as well as other flood-prone areas exacerbated by transportation infrastructure impediments.  These areas create significant public safety hazards.  Regarding the Post Road location, I have already begun informal discussions with experts in the field to weigh our options."

Lundeen said, "It is time to create the Flood and Erosion Control Board and assure the community that it will be an effective resource for necessary flood control planning."

What do you think should be done about flooding in Darien? Tell us in the comments below.

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