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27 PEOPLE/ 3 DOGS RESCUED BY POLICE IN FLOOD
Release Date: June 29, 2005

27 people/3 dogs rescued by police in the June 29th flood

My experiences driving around town with the Greenburgh Police…….by Paul Feiner

Parts of Greenburgh experienced heavy flooding on  June 29, 2005. I spent the evening driving around the town with Lt. James Duckham of the Greenburgh police. What an experience!  Some of the police officers I spoke to indicated that the flooding on June 29th was even worst than Hurricane Floyd—the roads flooded very fast, without notice.

27 people and 3 dogs were rescued by the police during the flood. Between 3 PM and 8 PM the police received about 85 calls for help. The technical Rescue Team, formed in 1997, as a specialized response unit for extremely hazardous and difficult situations, was working overtime. The team is composed of paramedics in the police department –including members of the Fairview/Greenville fire departments. The team used boats for their rescue missions.  It’s dangerous work—sort of like a white water experience (and saving people at the same time).

This flood highlights the fact that if Indian Point ever would experience a meltdown/tragedy that there would be no place to go. An evacuation is impossible. Hillside Avenue,119, Hillside Ave, were all backed up. In fact, it was difficult for the police car that I was driving in to drive around. At times we drove on the wrong side of the street – with sirens on. But, at other times, it was impossible to drive quickly to our destination.

We saw trucks, vehicles under water. I learned that a car drove through police barricades –only to find their car submerged under water. Some businesses indicated to me that they can’t get insurance. One business lost 3 trucks. Another 10 cars. Millions of dollars in property damage.

I offered to meet with some of the businesses to strategize as to how we can help address this flooding problem. A few years ago I went on a boat touring water damage at Babbitt Court. As a result of that experience I worked hard to obtain FEMA funding to uplift people’s homes on Babbitt Court. I hope that we will also be successful helping those businesses that experience millions of dollars in losses when their businesses get flooded  This will be a priority of mine.

This experience highlights how important it is to be proactive. The Greenburgh Police Department and the Technical Rescue Team were terrific. After observing the way they work first hand – I have a greater appreciation for their high quality work.

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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