Black Westchester first warned residents about the potential risk the failure of the deteriorating Lake Isle Dam could mean to residents of Mount Vernon just before Christmas. Since then the potential catastrophe that could hit Mount Vernon has become the topic of discussion of several media outlets and now some elected officials.
County Legislator Tyrae Woodson-Samuels has joined Mount Vernon City Council Candidate Lauren Carter in bringing attention to this situation. Woodson-Samuels – who was sworn in on Friday, December 4, 2020, as legislator for the County’s 13th district comprising most of Mount Vernon to fill remaining term on Lyndon Williams – is seeking a solution to the problem of an abandoned, private dam next to the Hutchinson River Parkway in Eastchester.
“While Westchester County is not legally responsible for the Lake Isle Dam, I, along with Westchester County Executive George Latimer, am committed to pulling all the parties together and coming up with a solution,” Woodson-Samuels shared with Black Westchester. “A private lake maintained for just a few homeowners should not be allowed to threaten the homes and businesses of many thousands of people who happen to live downstream.”
Legislator Woodson-Samuels feels, a failure of the dam — – owned by a defunct corporation and virtually unmaintained for decades — could flood residential areas in Mount Vernon as well as New Rochelle, Pelham and Eastchester, with flood waters reaching as far south as the Bronx line.
“At this point we need to gather information on the dam’s status. We also need a realistic estimate of the cost to fix the structure,” Woodson-Samuels said, “The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, along with our cities and towns must work together to solve this problem, and our neighbors in Eastchester must step up quickly to acknowledge the seriousness of this situation and begin to work cooperatively toward a solution.”
Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story!