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Wednesday, February 21 Local

Engineers to re-evaluate portion of flood maps

A 200-foot portion of the Goodwives River watershed is being re-evaluated following a private engineer's discovery of a discrepancy in the recently redrawn flood maps.

The Board of Selectmen Monday approved the transfer of $3,500 within the Department of Public Works budget to allow for Milone & MacBroom to review the portion of the watershed along Hamilton Avenue. Milone & MacBroom is the engineering, planning, landscape architecture and environmental science consulting firm the town hired following the 2006 floods.

Craig Flaherty, of Redniss & Mead, of Stamford, was hired by Flora Smith, a resident of Hamilton Avenue, to review the data Milone & MacBroom compiled.

Jeremy Ginsberg, the town's planning and zoning director, said Flaherty found a discrepancy with the way a tributary flowing into the Goodwives River should be treated within the flood-plain model. The tributary can either be treated as a way to carry water into the river or serve as overflow for the water, Ginsberg said.

Ginsberg did not know how many homes the re-evaluation could affect, but that it would have "very little" effect on the whole flood map.

Nicolle Burnham, a principal civil engineer with Milone & MacBroom, would start work on evaluating the area in question and would submit her findings to the town next week, Ginsberg said.

Some property owners near the Stony Brook and Goodwives rivers are upset with changes to the established flood zones, which have increased to encompass more homes following a re-evaluation of the watershed.

The flood plain maps, which were last updated in 1978, were evaluated by Milone & MacBroom. The 2006 storms -- on April 22 and Aug. 26 -- dumped 5.6 inches of rain on Darien.

Two watershed studies -- near the Stony Brook and Goodwives rivers -- were conducted, and when Milone & MacBroom presented its findings to the Board of Selectmen in 2008 and 2009, the board decided to send out a letter of map revision. A letter of map revision is sent to affected homeowners when the flood zones change.

The new flood maps take affect Sept. 9.

mspicer@bccnew.com; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews