VALHALLA, N.Y. - Months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged Westchester County, the Department of Environmental Protection will begin a tree cleanup project this week to clear 90 percent of the trees in a 45-acre area around the Kensico Reservoir.
“Removing these fallen and weakened trees around Kensico Reservoir is good for the city and our neighbors in the watershed,” DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland said in a statement. "The project will protect the quality of drinking water for New York City and Westchester County by limiting erosion, while at the same time improving public safety, and enhancing resiliency and aesthetics by diversifying the forest."
Tree removal will begin this week on Nanny Hagen Road in Mount Pleasant and North Castle. Trees knocked over during Sandy will be removed and chipped, DEP officials said. The wood chips will then be spread on the soil to help prevent erosion, they say. The DEP will also remove trees that could fall in future storms.
Due to the height of many of the trees, more than 100 feet tall, and their proximity to the road, removing them and replacing them with smaller trees and shrubbery will prevent downed power wires and road closures, DEP officials said. During Hurricane Sandy, Nanny Hagen Road was closed for multiple days for the third time in seven years due to downed trees and wires.
The tree-removal project will then move to West Lake Drive in Thornwood and Route 120 in North Castle. The tree-removal work will be completed by July, the DEP estimates, and the tree-planting portion will be completed by spring of 2014.
Partial traffic stoppages are possible on these three roads during the project. Tree removal will be done from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.