With its proximity to the Long Island Sound, rising sea levels and already low-lying areas, the Village of Port Jefferson has become especially vulnerable to heavy rainfalls and storm surges.

In recent years, the North Shore village has sustained heavy damage from hurricanes Irene, Sandy, nor’easters and flash flooding events.

In September of 2018, flood waters from a flash rainstorm shut down Theatre Three and Ruvo East for a short period of time.

To prepare for more issues, village officials have applied for several grant programs over the years.

Last month, the hard work of grant-writer Nicole Christian paid off, as Port Jefferson was awarded $82,500 by the New York State Regional Economic Development Council to help implement a Climate Resilience Plan.

The five areas to increase climate resilience includes:

  • Fooding/mitigation of coastal storm impacts
  • Shoreline protection
  • Economic vitality in the downtown business district
  • Stormwater runoff mitigation in the watershed area
  • Drainage and water quality restoration and runoff abatement.

Christian said the plan itself should cost around $115,000 in total. It’s expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“This is cutting-edge stuff,” she added. “This is going to be the new normal for all the villages eventually.”

The idea is to figure out different ways to prevent future flooding from hurricanes and storms, while also updating and physically improving evacuation routes in case of an emergency.

It will also consider both green and gray infrastructure systems to divert stormwater and mitigate flooding.

“Our goal is enhance the downtown to make it safe for everyone,” Christian said

Within the upcoming months, the village plans on holding public meetings to get input and additional ideas from the community.

Top: A flooded downtown Port Jefferson (courtesy)

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Above photo of the village during a flood, courtesy of Nicole Christian