To protect against storms like Hurricane Sandy, the Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a seawall on the east shore of Staten Island. NY1's Lori Chung filed the following report.
Memories of Hurricane Sandy are still fresh for many on Staten Island.
"I had five foot of water in front of my house, and I live a mile from the water," said one Staten Island resident who attended the session.
The Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday revealed details of its plan to build a seawall to protect the shoreline.
"The big plus is that it's able to withstand multiple storms because it will be in place continuously," said one of the presenters at the meeting.
Dozens turned out for the first of two public information sessions this week, where renderings show what phase one of the completed project would look like, an armored levee running from the foot of the Verrazano Bridge to Oakwood Beach and the FDR boardwalk rebuilt on top.
"Basically, that line of protection provides the barrier of the water that'll come in from an ocean event, and on the interior, we'll have all-natural storage areas that will allow water to hold until events are finished," said Frank Verga, project manager with the Army Corps of Engineers.
Many hope the wall's construction will protect residents here from damaging storm surges and skyrocketing flood insurance costs.
"These things have to be taken into consideration when coming up with the FEMA flood rates, as well as whatever mitigation efforts that the homeowner themselves are taking," said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, whose district covers parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn.
"It's detrimental to us now to try to sell the house," said one Staten Island resident who attended the session. "Anybody coming from any area that even knew anything about flooding, it wouldn't be a prime piece of real estate."
With so much on the line, some hope an estimated completion date of 2021 is a reachable goal.
"We don't know that it will happen according to the schedule," said one resident who attended the meeting. "You never know. Government is always taking a long, long time to do anything. Even the approvals might take longer."
There will be another public information session held Thursday night. The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking the public's input on the proposal. Those comments are due September 9.