How did sandbags, aquadams help in Clayton?

Updated: Jun. 4, 2019 at 5:43 PM EDT
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CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - It's business as usual in Clayton, despite the fact that water is seeping up from below, filling basements of businesses along Riverside Drive. One of those businesses is Coyote Moon.

“Essentially, we have an indoor pool now that we could go down and go swimming in I guess,” said owner Tony Randazzo.

He says the store has almost two feet of water. That’s 8 to 10 inches more than 2017.

However, this time around, business owners like Randazzo were prepared for it.

“Knowing that we just went through this 2 years ago all this water craziness, the adjustments that we made in our business is basically not relying on the basement as storage,” he said. “But again, the doors are open, people are inside enjoying themselves and they would never know that there is water in the basement unless we opened the door and showed it to them.”

The village was also more prepared this time around. Ahead of the water rising, crews laid out sandbags and aquadams along the riverwalk.

So far, one of the aquadams sprung a leak and went down. But last week, state fire and members of the National and New York Guard were there to help put in a new one.

And while businesses are still getting water in their basements, officials say the aquadams are doing their job.

“This is bad, it could’ve been worse. So the dams are not stopping the water from coming to the buildings, it’s stopping the water from crashing into the buildings, so the wave action was what we were trying to mitigate from the beginning,” said Robert Cantwell III (R. - District 1 Legislator).

“These buildings basically just took a punishment back in 2017 and you can see a lot of them are pumping their basements out. It’s more of a hydrolic issue, the water’s actually coming through the basement floor,” said Terry Jones, village of Clayton Department of Public Works superintendent.

While the village was prepared this year, Jones says hopefully in the future Clayton won’t need aquadams.

The village hopes to take advantage of Governor Cuomo’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative and build its infrastructure, like the riverwalk, up higher.

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