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Flooding: Downtown Site Most Prone

Most people are very aware that weather patterns have shifted. Utica can see days where it is 45 and the next day it can be 95. No snow or very little, and the next day a HUGE storm. Very dry periods and then a monsoon, a.k.a. July 1, 2017.

Speaking of weather, a Bosnian friend (with civil engineering background) upon hearing the downtown hospital concept, "Downtown? Not smart at all, air quality is so much better on the hilltop at St. Luke's. Downtown is bad." We agree, downtown is not the ideal site for healing and is most prone to future flooding.

June 29, 2020 - Wow! Did you hear, Nearly 15 million US properties are at risk of flooding - 70 percent more than estimated by FEMA, a new analysis reveals

"The new tool accounts for rainfall, sea level rise and flooding in smaller creeks"

"FEMA maps only account for coastal flooding and leaves out rivers and the way climate change has increased storms, which has led many to believe there is an underestimated flood risk across the nation."

Why place new hospital at lowest point?

January 21, 2020 - In anoter new report titled, New flood insurance maps drawing critical reaction in NC we learn flood mapping requires updating.

November 1, 2019 - Yesterday, the North-South Arterial flooded and was closed for the third time in two years...

The majority of traffic to their proposed downtown hospital was shown to use the Arterial, arriving from the south. This is an issue of concern. Also, the current Utica DRI aims at cutting Genesee Street down to two lanes, and Orikany Boulevard is also being narrowed!

September 7, 2019 - News report today titled, "Underground Creeks Cause Problems In Utica: Flooding Issues Under The Streets". Utica has 70 miles of creeks, and many are underground...

"Running under severals streets of the City of Utica are ancient creeks, coming down from the hills on the south side of the Mohawk Valley. While covered over by streets and structures, water still flows. And, when the streets are flooded by heavy rains, there is building pressure from rising water under the ground. Some of that water has caused problems with Utica roadways. But, city engineers are aware and have a plan in place to deal with it."

Nail, Starch Factory, Ballou, and Reall's creek. All part of the Nine Mile Creek Watershed. Scroll down and read about the $3M "Ballou Creek Sewer" project.

August 20, 2019 - Utica's newspaper headline reads, "Something Needs To Be Done"...

August 18, 2019 - Critical healthcare assets, especially the city's only hospital, should be placed onto Higher Ground. Yesterday, Storm leaves some motorists stranded in Utica...

See drone Footage of Utica's August 17, 2019 Flood Waters, as media reports, New York State DOT to partner with City of Utica to prevent flooding on the arterial.

Per MVHS, and their SEQR documents, this roadway was projected to carry the Greatest Traffic Loads To And From Proposed Downtown Hospital site.

Also, since Utica is very near a floodplain, downtown carries additional Risks for our Downtown Utica CSX Railroad Tracks.

December 6, 2017 -Jim Piccola, state Department of Transportation regional spokesman, said in story title FEMA denies New York’s request for flooding assistance, "...the drainage system functioned well and the water was able to eventually dissipate, some modifications to the route might be made. That could include changes to the center median along that stretch of road, he said. “There’s absolutely a concern it could happen again,” Piccola said. “That’s why we’re going to look at what we can do with that center median barrier. Is there a way to maybe open some areas up there that can alleviate some of that pressure? But ... when you get that kind of water, it’s just too much.”

November 10, 2017 - The water needs to go somewhere, Could development lead to more North Utica flooding? Great question, and if you build in the flood plain, then the answer is "Yes!" And when they don't heed this statement, “If they’re designed properly...", we're in trouble, and when was the last time a project in Utica designed properly?

Why are both these WHEC News 10 stories missing?

Heavy Rain Causes Major Flooding in Central New York

Flooding Causes Closure Utica Arterial Saturday

October 12, 2017 - FEMA’s Outdated and Backward-Looking Flood Maps

"FEMA’s flood mapping program is falling short in protecting people and property from flooding. According to a September 2017 report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, FEMA is unable to “provide members of the public with a reliable rendering of their true flood vulnerability or ensure that NFIP rates reflect the real risk of flooding.”

July 10, 2017 - WIBX950's Bill Keeler, per last Week's Show Notes, Flooding - Mr. Joe Piccola from NYS DOT (listen at minute 4:35) on Arterial Drianage relative to Hospital. We stated that last week's flooding shows why hospitals are better located on higher ground - especially when the hospital system owns 64-acres on a hill, less than two miles away!

July 7, 2017 - Lest we forget, powerful storms dropped torrential rain in magnitude of a 450-year event that resulted in severe flooding in the Southern Tier of New York in June 2006, Severe Flooding Shuts Down Hospital; View Flooded Hospital image.

Utica's 2016 DRI: "Ballou Creek Sewer"

Consider: Large rains overwhelm our storm and Utica-area Sewer Pipes. Modern systems are separated, but Utica has many "combined" pipes that handle storm and sewer. Utica has many issues, the 2016 DRI sought $3M for a "Ballou Creek Sewer" project...


• The central part of the City ’s stormwater drainage is restricted from reaching the Mohawk River by railroad infras tructure and major trunk sewers that run east-west between the City and the river.

• Approximately 370 millions gallons a year of CSO [Combined Sewage Overflows] discharges to the Mohawk River (typical year). Wet-Weather Flows have proven to generate a substantial amount of chemical, physical, and biological stress to the Mohawk.

• The Utica section of the Mohawk River is on the list of impaired water bodies in New York State (USEPA, NYS DEC).

• In order to avoid res trictions on new development, the City of Utica and surrounding communities must eliminate major sources of stormwater and relieve pressure on the system.


Mitigation of combined sewer overflows to facilitate new development in Downtown Utica; critical to MVHS medical campus construction, continued investments in the Bagg’s Square mixed-use neighborhood, and revitalization of the Varick Street Brewery District. The project complements and enhances green infrastructure initiatives on Genesee Street and proposed on Burchard Lane.

• A new 24-inch storm sewer on Water Street is currently connected to the combined Railroad Interceptor; the project proposes to connect this new section to the existing Washington Street 36-inch storm sewer at Harbor Point.

• A boring under the railroad tracks would be required to make a connection to the new storm sewer. An estimated 900 LF of new piping is proposed, in accordance with railroad standards and include a steal casing jacked/bored under the tracks.

• According to the Long Term Control Plan, this project will reduce CSO overflows to the Mohawk River by 6MG during a typical rainfall year.


Engineering & Soft Costs $ 300,000
Site Work $ 200,000
Construction $ 2,500,000
Total $ 3,000,000
DRI Funding: $900,000
Total Project Cost: $3,000,000

July 1, 2017 One day after a new roadway opens on western edge of proposed hospital site, severe flash flooding hit the city of Utica today, Cars submerged in flash floods in Utica; major roads impassable"

You can help, please join us on Facebook #NoHospitalDowntown. Also consider adding your voice to Hundreds of People Saying, "No Hospital Downtown". Get to know BUD, that's the future of the Columbia Lafayette Neighborhood!

No Studies, No Reports, thus we remain #NoHospitalDowntown