The aftermath of Ida is not pretty. Historic flooding rushed into Rye Wednesday night into Thursday. Those who have been in Rye long enough will remember the floods of April 2007 and August 2011. Ida gave both those performances a serious run.
Residents spent Thursday drying, draining and digging out from Ida’s wrath. Pumps were working overtime Thursday and one could see lots of standing water across town well into the afternoon. Rye FD, Police and DPW were out in force responding resident needs, enforcing safety and starting the clean-up. Police and fire responded to over 100 calls Wednesday into Thursday, performing dozens of rescues.
“There is significant damage…worse than 2007,” Gregg Howells, executive director of the Rye YMCA told MyRye.com. The Blind Brook, just feet away from the YMCA, showed its wrath up and down its length.
(VIDEO: Rye YMCA exterior along the Blind Brook Thursday afternoon.)
“The entire 1st floor was under water and will need a lot of restoration,” Howell continued. “The water went higher than the gates and the ground water overwhelmed our pump system. We have at least 3 interior doors that were taken off their hinges and some windows broke due to water pressure.” The Y plans to remain closed for 1-2 weeks.
Just across the Blind Brook from the Rye Y, the Rye Free Reading Room also sustained massive damage. “There was significant flooding in the Children’s Room, with the high water line at about 21 inches,” Director Chris Shoemaker told MyRye.com. “We’re still assessing the damage, but a significant portion of the children’s book collection will need to be replaced due to water damage.”
Higher up the Blind Brook, a part of Theodore Fremd Avenue caved in, necessitating emergency repairs Thursday to make the road passable. The cave-in, across from the municipal parking area behind Purchase Street where the Blind Brook crosses from Indian Village under the Metro North tracks and makes a sharp right onto Theodore Fremd, was badly damaged in the 2007 flood. It was never repaired as the City was still waiting for funding.
And further down the Blind Brook, Rye High and Middle Schools, including the new turf field at Nugent Stadium, received a beating. “We are working to fully assess the damage and safety concerns in our schools and grounds,” said schools boss Eric Byrne. “Our facilities department has been working on clean up, and we are working with our contractors, remediation experts, Con Edison, insurance company representatives, and our administrative team to get our critical systems and infrastructure back online.”
Suzanne Clary’s voice could be heard in a Jay Heritage call to action Thursday afternoon. “Rye flooding is NOT a once every 100 year or 50 year storm event… We can do better – we must do better. Rye is a coastal community and if we do not take action to become more resilient and prepared for storms, the next photo may document a yearly occurrence. It’s time to update Rye’s outdated 1985 Master Plan and outdated floodplain and wetlands maps.”