NYC Launches Programs to Protect its Water Supply

ALBANY (AP) -

Wary of more big storms washing out towns and churning up debris around its distant reservoirs, New York City will buy properties in flood zones.

The one-two punch of tropical storms Irene and Lee in 2011 has prompted an additional $70 million of spending by the city.

“There’s a growing recognition that the frequency of severe storms may be increasing. We certainly anticipate that storms — if not exactly like Irene and Lee — but damaging storms are going to be coming again,” said David Warne, assistant commissioner for the city’s Department of Environmental Protection.

The flood-related programs were finalized this month under changes to a federal waiver that allows New York City to avoid filtering its drinking water from reservoirs west of the Hudson River.