Lessons learned after historic flooding topic of summit
By Blaine Friedlander
On the anniversary of two devastating Southern Tier floods, local leaders, researchers and citizens will convene at the Living with Water summit Oct. 7-8 to review community resilience and the region’s economy at Binghamton University’s Downtown Center, 67 Washington St., Binghamton.
The summit runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Cornell organizers were from the Department of Natural Resources and Community and Regional Development Institute, who worked with Binghamton partners. The summit is free, but registration is required. Lunch provided.
James Brewster, hydro-meteorologist from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service in Binghamton, will deliver the keynote address on the science of flood risk prediction.
Other speakers from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corp of Engineers and Broome County government will lead discussions on waterfront redevelopment flood preparedness and response.
In preparing for the summit, researchers and students led by Shorna Allred, Cornell associate professor of natural resources, interviewed local leaders and residents affected by the floods. “The emotional stories from the community provide a picture of what went right and what went wrong during the flood response. This information will allow us to help local officials plan for future floods,” she said.
The summit coincides with the First Friday arts event in downtown Binghamton. River Read Books on the Chenango Promenade and the Cooperative Gallery, 213 State St., will feature arts and performances related to the Living with Water theme. On Saturday, Oct. 8, the event continues with the American Red Cross Citizen Preparedness Corps training from 10 a.m. to noon, at the MacArthur Elementary School 123 Vestal Ave., Binghamton. After the training, there will be a tour of the school featuring its new flood-mitigation design.
Weaving survivor narratives, the Civic Ensemble reads “Living with Water,” a play weaving survivor narratives of the 2006 and 2011 floods, Oct. 8 at the KNOW Theater, 74 Carroll St., Binghamton, 7:30 p.m.