Reverend Jim Matthews says the streets outside St. Lucy's Church on the west side of Syracuse used to flood with every rainstorm.
"The sewage used to overflow and it was raw sewage and it was a mess," he recalls.
But now that the county has re-paved the church parking lot with porous asphalt, the flooding has stopped.
That improvement came after an epic court battle that resulted in Onondaga County being ordered to clean up its overflowing sewer system, to prevent the Metro sewage treatment plant from overflowing into Onondaga Lake.
And St. Lucy's is just one of 50 "green infrastructure" projects taken on by the county's "Save the Rain" initiative.