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Flooding raises questions about aging infrastructure

ALBANY -- Like most cities in the Capital Region the infrastructure is aging in many parts of Albany.

The rainfall we saw Tuesday night only exascerbates the problem.

"It really was an event that I think was unlike anything we've ever seen in many, many years," Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said.

Meteorologists estimate about 2.5 inches of rain was dumped in Albany in less than an hour.

Crews worked into the night clearing downed trees, limbs and debris. The city's overwhelmed drainage system is now trickling back to normal as people caught in the flood path deal with the aftermath of the flash storm.

"I've been in this apartment for two years and we get a little bit of flooding but they were supposed to have been came over here and fix this problem," Chapale Harvey, whose home was damaged in flood waters, said.

That's the story in many unsuspecting neighborhoods of the city but Sheehan says this time the damage has more to do with the intensity of the storm and less to do with the age of the city's pipes.

"We have old pipes that are in great condition. We have newer pipes that are more challenged. It really depends on the type of soil that they're in," Sheehan said.

City engineers analyze the areas that are most at risk and officials say the system is constantly being updated.

"We are part of a consent order now with seven other community to address combined sewer overflows and so as part of that consent order there are additional capital projects that are going to be occurring," Sheehan said. "The water department really invests, you know, really millions of dollars in that infrastructure on an ongoing basis."

But for people like Harvey that isn't enough.

"I just can't understand [why] the city hasn't fixed this problem in the last ten years," Harvey said.

Tuesday's storm may not be the end of this wet weather so city officials are suggesting you clear any storm drains in your neighborhood from debris.
 
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