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Greenburgh Daily Voice serves Ardsley, Edgemont & Greenburgh
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Elmsford Highway Man Volunteers To Clean River

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Peter Polack came on a boat with two other men, then jumped into the waste-level water of the Saw Mill River to guide the boat to the border.

They had been dislodging fallen trees and debris, Polack said.

“And the trees that are growing that didn’t really fall,” he added.

Polack is one of the people working on the cleaning of the Saw Mill River, a combined effort from Greenburgh and Elmsford to reduce the debris and destruction caused by floods. Brookfield, a scrap recycler located on Lamont Street in Elmsford, is providing the heavy equipment.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has been advertising the initiative and the attention it received from the press, including a praising article from a Journal News columnist.

“It’s like a military operation out there,” he said.

It did resemble one Friday afternoon, with two excavators breaking into the bushes and leaving deep tracks in the mud. One of them kept sinking the bucket into the river and bringing it back full of wood, bottles and other debris.

“We are taking everything away,” said a Greenburgh worker.

Polack, who works for the Elmsford Highway Department and volunteered to help clean the river, said the most difficult part of the work is to remove the debris blockages, since the stream flowing underneath creates a hole on the bottom.

“You don’t even know when it’s deep,” he said. “Once you go up and get past these four feet and get water in here,” he unbuttoned his yellow rain jacket and showed the waders behind it, “you are in trouble.”

Polack also mentioned that people should be more careful with how they dispose of certain things he found in the river, such as tires and shopping carts.

“It’s not all from the storm,” he said.

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