Tag Archives: DEP

Woodhaven residents upset over slow response to sewage issue


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Ed Wendell

Woodhaven residents want to know why it took so long to stop the sewage that was spewing into the streets of their neighborhood.

At the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) March 16 meeting, several members inquired why the feces-ridden puddle continued to be a problem, considering how close it was to a nursery school.

“When there’s a fire, the Fire Department can rush into a house,” said WRBA President Ed Wendell. “They don’t need to ring the doorbell and get permission – there’s a fire. In this case here, this to me was every bit as bad as a fire, because you had human waste spilling out into a street right next to a nursery school.”

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) put out an emergency bid to finally fix the lingering problem. Until then, agencies could only slap the landlord with fines, officials said. There’s a $20,000 lien against the house because of fines racking up since 2005, according to Assemblymember Michael Miller’s office.

Children from neighboring St. Luke’s Nursery School had to walk into the street to get out of the waste-filled puddle coming from the house, Wendell said, and the block was never closed off or a crossing guard installed at the site.

“That sidewalk should have been closed, it should have been a hazmat situation,” he said. “Something should have been done.”

The situation with this house was unique because it dealt with tenants, according to Rudy S. Giuliani, chief of staff for Councilmember Eric Ulrich. In normal circumstances, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would shut the water off, he said. But since the city did not want to make the tenants suffer for an absentee landlord, the city looked to take other options such as sending in HPD.

Giuliani said Ulrich’s office is working on finding out what took so long to fix the problem.

 

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New program saves homeowners money in water, sewer line repairs


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has a new system to protect homeowners, their water and hopefully, their wallets.

Residential property owners citywide are responsible for maintaining their water and sewer service lines, which can stretch underground from homes and out to the middle of the street. If any part of that line is compromised and needs repair, the cost could come from homeowners’ pockets.

Under the new citywide program, the DEP has partnered with private company American Water Resources (AWR) and now offers a monthly fee to cover potential service line issues. As opposed to paying thousands of dollars to repair a water or sewer line break, costs for the AWR program run up to $12 a month.

“This is such a simple process,” said Karen Ellis, borough coordinator for Queens at the DEP. “Everything is included.”

For the fee, members receive unlimited protection for covered repairs, an unlimited number of claims, 24/7 customer service and licensed plumbers making fixes.

“The service line protection programs are a key component of our ongoing effort to provide the best customer service,” said DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland. “By informing property owners about their responsibilities and providing an optional and affordable way to protect them from unexpected repair costs, the programs offer a valuable service to our ratepayers throughout the city.”

Customers can elect to choose just the water protection program, just sewer line protection, or both. They may also discontinue their involvement at any time. Rates are subject to potential increases.

AWR provides protection services in 35 states, according to Malcolm D. Connor, AWR president.

For more information on AWR and the water and sewer protection programs, call 1-888-300-3570 or visit AWRUSA.com/NYC.

 

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Leaders want Southeast Queens flooding fixed


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

BY LIAM LA GUERRE

As Sandy barreled down on the East Coast last year, there was one thing on Helene Martello’s mind.

“Where am I going to move my car?’” she asked.

It wasn’t the first time she feared flooding.

After returning to her Hollis home from a party in 2008, Martello was surprised to find her car submerged in a flood with water reaching as high as the dashboard. “I was upset because you didn’t even think another flood would happen,” Martello, 61, said. “We’ve had sewers put in. They told us everything was going to be okay, and it wasn’t.”

In the latest community effort to get the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to solve flooding in Southeast Queens, nearly a dozen Queens leaders, led by Assemblymember William Scarborough, met with residents at York College on Thursday, February 28 to explain the importance of action before the Bloomberg administration passes its budget.

At the meeting, Scarborough revealed new legislation he penned to force the city to take financial responsibility for partly causing the flooding issue in Queens. He introduced a lawyer who will attempt to file a consolidated suit against the city, combining as many residents’ evidence of property damage they can find.

“We’re looking to get money damages for their ongoing damage of having cellars and basements that are inundated with water and have to be pumped out regularly,” said attorney Mark Seitelman.

The DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion into developing the area’s sewer system, and has about 200 projects in place for the next 10 years that are worth another billion, according to an agency spokesperson. Late last year the agency began a new pilot plan to insert three basins throughout areas in Jamaica that would collect and pump out millions of gallons of water each day.

It helped, but not enough, residents said. They want some former wells reopened, but the DEP refused to do that until 2018 when the city plans to temporarily close and repair the Delaware Aqueduct, an upstate resource where the city gets half its water.

The DEP is not responsible for the underground water, but elements like rain or snow can cause floods, a DEP representative said. The agency is testing the wells and the quality of water for functionality and at this moment is not sure if they are usable.

 

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Broken sewage pipe soils Woodhaven street


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Ed Wendell

A broken pipe in Woodhaven has residents concerned about public safety after gushing water, rife with human waste, has soiled the corner of 85th Street and 88th Avenue.

“It’s disgusting,” said Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA) president Ed Wendell, who’s been tracking the problem for a few weeks now. Wendell and other WRBA members have contacted city agencies about the problem, but most agencies cannot interfere with a private residence.

Wendell said he drove past the house a few weeks ago and water had been pouring into the street. When he went back two days later, during a bad cold snap, he said the water had frozen with bits of toilet paper and other unmentionables solidified. A snow storm a few days later covered the ice, leading people to think there was nothing but sidewalk underneath. As a result, Wendell said, people were slipping and sliding on the feces-infested ice.

But a bigger problem is one particular neighbor: St. Luke’s Nursery School next door.

The school’s director did not want to comment on the matter.

For everyone’s safety — especially that of the children — the sidewalk either needs to be closed off, or the city needs to install a crossing guard during school hours, Wendell said.

The home’s owner, Noris Requena, according to records, could not be reached at press time, nor could the person listed as the home’s resident.

Because it’s a private home, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) cannot forcibly go inside.

Since the problem is inside the house, the city is limited on how it can intervene, said Rudy Giuliani, chief of staff for Councilmember Eric Ulrich. In a normal situation, the city would shut water supply to the home, but since the home is rented out authorities have opted to keep the water on. DEP has visited the home several times, Giuliani said, but the problem seems to be with an absentee landlord.

The next step, he said, was for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to intervene since the city has not been able to track down the landlord.

 

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Central and southern Queens to receive water main upgrade


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of DEP

A $14 million upgrade to replace the borough’s aging water system will soon flow into portions of central and southern Queens, authorities said.

About 13 miles of new ductile iron water mains will be installed to replace old unlined cast ones in Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill and Far Rockaway, according to the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Design and Construction (DDC).

The infrastructure improvement project is expected to improve water quality, pressure and distribution in residential and commercial areas of the neighborhoods by retiring mains that are over 60 years old, the DEP said.

“Public health and the future growth of New York City are contingent on having an adequate supply of high quality water,” DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland said. “By installing nearly 13 miles of new water mains, we will ensure adequate water pressure for firefighting, basic sanitation and clean drinking water for these Queens neighborhoods for decades to come.”

The new water mains will be installed in locations near Union Turnpike, Queens Boulevard, Kew Garden Road, Park Lane South, Myrtle Avenue, Metropolitan Avenue, Hillside Avenue, Jamaica Avenue and Beach 9th Street.

Construction will be done in phases, beginning March 2013, with expected completion in 2015.

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

MTA considers installing sliding doors to prevent deaths, injuries

The MTA will reconsider installing sliding doors on some subway platforms to prevent riders from getting killed or injured by trains, a top official told the Daily News. Fifty-four people this year have met their bloody ends on the tracks — a five-year high at more than one per week — according to preliminary figures released by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Read more: Daily News

Whale that washed ashore and died in Queens could pose health threat

The whale that washed up on a beach in the Rockaways and died could potentially pose a threat to humans. Members of the New York State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said there is a possibility that the whale could carry diseases that could be potentially harmful to people. Read more: Queens Courier

Young boy killed by truck in apparent hit-and-run in Jackson Heights

Tragically, little Miguel Torres never got to eat his last snack. The 11-year-old Queens boy was fatally struck by a truck Friday morning moments after he bought a Sprite and Pop Tarts at a corner store, police and witnesses said. Read more: Daily News

Teen killed at Queens house party

A 17-year-old boy died after being shot in the head outside of a Queens house party. The NYPD says the party was just breaking up and the boy was apparently drunk and milling about the property. Read more: My Fox NY

Congressional leaders hopeful as fiscal cliff deadline nears

Even though the top four Congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently on Friday, they cast the hour-long encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol. Read more: NPR

 

Faster flooding fix coming to Middle Village, Maspeth


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Middle Village and Maspeth residents will wave goodbye to water woes a year ahead of schedule.

A pair of Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) capital projects to help alleviate constant flooding in the neighboring communities was moved up after several discussions with Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley. The first upgrade along Calamus Avenue is scheduled to begin construction next summer, with the other job under Penelope Avenue planned for the following spring, a year earlier than originally planned. Surveying for the projects has already begun.

Crowley’s calls for the DEP to investigate the causes behind the flooding picked up after a pair of summer storms flooded dozens of homes in the area.

“The storms in August and September showed that this area’s sewers are not equipped to handle major storms. It was simply unacceptable to ask residents to continue waiting before something was done,” said Crowley.

Under Calamus Avenue an additional 6-foot-by-8-foot pipe will be added in the $15 million project, according to a DEP official. New sewer mains and catch basins will be installed under Penelope Avenue and will cost $7 million. The flooding fixes will each take about a year to complete and will increase the system’s capacity by 80 percent.

Glendale residents who have also faced flood waters filling their homes will have to wait a little longer for relief.

“With the Glendale area, there isn’t a quick fix just yet,” Crowley said.

An investigation into the Glendale flooding and discussions regarding a solution are ongoing, said a DEP official.

Additional solutions to reduce the deluge of rainfall into the sewers are also being considered, according to Crowley’s office, including additional catch basins, green space and permeable surfaces.

Tempers flare over burning Sandy tree debris


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

By Denise Romano

The city is burning Superstorm Sandy tree debris at Floyd Bennett Field in order to convert it into reusable material, enraging environmentalists who claim that the burn-off will compromise air quality.

In a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will burn more than 15,000 trees damaged by the storm, which will be converted into biofuel, mulch and landfill cover.

A six-day pilot program began on November 28, in which some of the debris is incinerated using an “air curtain burner,” which is a ceramic lined firebox about the size of a shipping container that uses large fans to make a “curtain” of air that prevents embers and ash from escaping. The Army Corps said they have already successfully used this method in Texas, Alabama and in Brookhaven on Long Island.

Air quality results will be closely monitored during the pilot program. Results from November 29, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indicate that, “Monitored levels of fine particles, which were measured over a 24-hour period that included the pilot burn, met the EPA’s health-based standard for fine particles,” according to an update on the EPA’s website, that also indicates that the agency will do further testing on air samples in a laboratory, and report the results are they become available.

Although the EPA and city agencies are monitoring the process from eight different stations surrounding the area, environmental and health groups, including the American Lung Association of the Northeast, New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, New York Law and Environmental Justice Project and Citizens’ Environmental Coalition contend that the debris is detrimental to the city’s air quality.

Groups said the operation would emit at least 26 pollutants specified in the Clean Air Act as hazardous into the atmosphere.

“Approving this proposal to allow debris to be burned would add insult to injury. Many parts of our region are still cleaning up from Hurricane Sandy and are already dealing with major indoor air quality issues because of flooding, water damage and the resulting mold growth,” said Jeff Seyler, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “This proposal would increase air pollution which can also make people sick and send them the hospital. We urge the city and state to use safe non-combustion alternatives when disposing the remaining waste.”

“It is a terrible waste to just burn the trees that came down during the storm into ashes and smoke,” said Laura Haight, senior environmental associate with NYPIRG. “There is a strong market for wood chips which can be used for garden mulch and a variety of other purposes. In this way, these casualties of the storm can be given a new life.”

Local leaders are also opposed, including Saul Needle, the chair of Community Board 18, which includes Floyd Bennett Field in its catchment area.

“Many years ago, the city banned the burning of leaves and trees because the bi-product is smoke, which contains carcinogens and various other not good things,” he explained. “I can’t see how over the course of time, these things have changed. I think it’s not a good thing to do.

“Regrettably,” Needle went on, “I can’t offer a viable solution, but I think before they do the burning, they should investigate so we don’t have pollutants wafting all over the air.”

One month after Sandy, residents still face a long road to recovery


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

The hum of generators and the roar of truck engines can be heard throughout Breezy Point as residents and emergency workers feverishly push to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy.

Before that fateful Monday, October 29, when Sandy tore through the East Coast, life in the small beach town was relatively simple. But now, a month later, people have been working around the clock to clean up the destruction that Sandy left behind.

“We’re back to a little bit of normal,” said Breezy Point resident Liz Bianco, as she brought her young daughter to swim practice. “We’re hanging in there.”

During the storm, Bianco’s home was infiltrated with three feet of water, and although thankful she still has a home, she has a lot of work to do.

Days after the damage was done, Bianco spoke to The Courier as she filled water jugs at a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) installed water pump to take back to the local church where she and other evacuees were staying. Her two daughters, Julian, nine and Leigh, four, sat nearby.

Now, she and countless others are following procedure to restore their flood-damaged homes. The sea water inside Bianco’s house left stains on the wall and destroyed every item inside. Those who suffered a similar fate have had to throw out all of the lost items and wait for an insurer to come and survey what is left to determine what compensation they will receive.

Aside from the extensive water damage that most of the Breezy Point homes received, a fire that sparked during the storm rapidly spread and reduced 111 houses to ashes.

“These people need all the help we can give them,” said Richie Nouvertne of NASDI, LLC, a demolition remediation company. “Whatever they need the help with, we give it to them.”

Nouvertne said that they have been filling roughly 50 trucks every day with debris and garbage from people’s houses.

“We can’t get out of the way fast enough before the debris comes back,” said Nouvertne. “After we clean it, we leave the block spotless, then we’ll come back and it looks like we weren’t even there. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Despite the time that has passed, much of the disaster area hasn’t changed. Some homes still remain off of their foundations; facades of other houses are still in shambles; doors and windows have been replaced with wood panels, and the number of damaged household items continues to grow. Refrigerators, bathtubs and insulation pieces can be found all along the streets.

Recovery efforts, however, are still very apparent. Aside from sanitation trucks, the Breezy Point roads are filled with contracting, heating and plumbing, and moving and storage trucks. Mobile units from the Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) and more are set up in parking lots, and food trucks and tents are set up, serving free meals to residents and emergency workers.

“There was no power, there was no hot food,” said Bobby Eustace of the FDNY’s 17th Battalion. “The one thing we can do to comfort people and to ease their pain is give them a hot plate of food.”

Local stores such as the supermarket and hardware store are up and running, taking customers day in and day out. Signs are posted throughout the streets, advertising free help clearing out homes or asking volunteers to sign up to aid relief efforts.

“All we want to do is help people. We’ve seen everyone come together. When disaster hits New Yorkers love each other,” said Nouvertne.

New law to help customers contesting costly water bills


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

(Photo: DEP)

Following a record number of disputed water bills, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio introduced legislation today that prevents late fees, liens and foreclosure on home and business owners fighting the charges.

He made the announcement at a Queens Chamber of Commerce small business forum that was held this morning at the Queens Library Flushing branch.

At the event, which highlighted city regulations and small business fines, de Blasio focused on disputed water bills because of the high number of customers that “contested sky-high water bills in 2011 after the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) installed new automated meters,” said de Blasio.

If home and business owners feel they have been unfairly charged, fighting the bill can be a long and difficult process. In the meantime, the DEP will send warnings to customers about escalating late fees and a lien sale, which can directly lead to foreclosure, said de Blasio.

They will often abandon the appeal process so they won’t lose their home or business, he added.

The legislation that de Blasio introduced to the City Council will allow owners to fight their water bills without the threat of late fees or foreclosure.

“In this tough economy, small business is struggling to survive. The last thing they need is to get soaked by the city’s unreasonably high water bills, due to faulty meters,” said councilmember Peter Koo, one of the legislation’s sponsors.

The water bill fines are just an example of the rapidly increasing fines that make it harder for small businesses to succeed, said de Blasio.

The story he’s heard from businesses all over the city, said de Balsio, is that increased fines over the last five years have “made it harder to keep the business going [and] harder to keep employing new people.”

 

 

 

Flood relief may be on way for Springfield Gardens


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Officials are hoping that relief is on the way for Springfield Gardens residents, who have long suffered from the deluge of downpours.

On Tuesday, October 16, city and local officials broke ground on the fourth phase of a project to upgrade sewer and water infrastructure in the southeast Queens community.

“For years, heavy rain in Springfield Gardens meant flooded roads, damaged homes and thousands of dollars in repairs for residents,” said City Councilmember James Sanders, an advocate for the project. “With this … neighborhood upgrade under way, relief is coming soon for Springfield homeowners who have been under assault from Mother Nature for far too long.”

This most recent installment of repairs, totaling $69 million and funded by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), is part of a larger $175 million project dedicated to improving Springfield Gardens storm management.

In this phase, the area bounded by South Conduit Avenue to the north; 149th Avenue to the south; 145th Road/146th Avenue/225th Street on the east; and Springfield Boulevard to the west will receive roughly 2.8 miles of new sewer lines, nearly 3 miles of water mains, and 84 catch basins, along with new streets and sidewalks.

“Low-lying streets in Springfield Gardens will get a lift with completely reconstructed streets and sidewalks, addressing the area’s flooding and making the neighborhood greener and more inviting,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

Residents are overall pleased with the work being done.

Elizabeth Simms, who lives nearby in an area that was part of an earlier phase, has seen a significant improvement in flooding around her home.

“New drains, new sewers, remaking the street has worked great. Before it was a problem, but now everything goes right down and the street is clean,” she said.

Also part of the project is the creation of a Bluebelt, a wetland that both stores and treats water runoff. This will allow stormwater to be collected in the new catch basins, and discharged into wetland systems where the water will be naturally filtered. The wetlands will store the water, allow any solids or debris to settle and excess nutrients to be absorbed by vegetation. The filtered water will then be discharged into the nearby Springfield Lake and existing streams into Jamaica Bay.

Dredging for the project is set to begin in the spring, and will be managed by the City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Completion is estimated for 2014.

 

Forest Hills seeks flood fix


| MKirk@queenscourier.com

IMGP4777_2

Rene Alkalay, owner of Genesis Tree of Life, a yoga and wellness center on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills, is furious that area flooding has cost him nearly $75,000.

“I want to know what you’re going to do to put me back in business,” he said at a town hall meeting on Thursday, September 27.

After being awash in complaints from Forest Hills residents regarding sewage flooding into their homes following heavy rains, Councilmember Karen Koslowitz and Community Board 6 invited the community to air their grievances directly to city officials in the hopes that a solution could be found.

A line of more than 30 people formed in the packed assembly room of the Forest Hills Jewish Center, where residents, some more vocal than others, expressed their concerns to employees of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

What ensued was a two-hour forum of tales of fecal-matter-filled water spouting out of drains, gallons upon gallons of sewer water flooding into basements, toxic mold growing on walls, skin inflammations, and cars, furniture and other belongings damaged beyond repair.

Ron Green, who lives on Yellowstone Boulevard, described a tactic he used during one storm that involved clogging his toilet with a towel and placing two sandbags on top of the lid before sitting on them. In the end, not even that could prevent a shower of feces from spraying out of the toilet, he said.

“It was like a fire hose,” he said.

Clay artist Ginnie Shaknis has seen her apartment flood three times due to heavy rainfall this summer. With the help of a friend, they bailed over 200 gallons of water out of her home. Lately she’s been dipping into her supply of clay to use as a way to clog her drains.

When asked how much financial damage she has suffered, Shaknis said, “I can’t even say anymore. It just keeps happening and happening.”

Edward Coleman, assistant commissioner for the Bureau of Water and Sewer Operations at the DEP, essentially told attendees that there is nothing the agency can do. Because the sewers are designed to handle one-and-a-half inches of rain per hour, the city is only liable for damage done to peoples’ homes when rainfall exceeds that amount. Since none of the storms this summer surpassed that quantity, it is unlikely that residents will receive any compensation.

Attendees who brought up their issues were asked to provide information to the DEP regarding the locations of suspected faulty storm drains. Several residents also cited occasions in which they contacted the DEP with concerns of overflowing storm drains and detached manhole covers and received a response they found unsatisfactory — or no response at all. The DEP took down information from these residents and said they would look into these matters.

Koslowitz asked the DEP employees what she could do to help her constituents affected by the flooding.

“As a single councilmember, there’s nothing you can do,” said Mark Lanaghan, assistant commissioner of Intergovernmental Affairs. “The purpose of meetings like this is to learn about things we didn’t know about and to have issues brought to our attention.”

Sandra Crystal has been living in Forest Hills for the last 50 years. Her apartment building flooded on two occasions this summer.

“Who’s your boss?” Crystal asked the panel when it was her turn at the microphone. “If it’s the mayor, then that’s who we need to talk to. If the mayor lived in Forest Hills, something would be done about it.”

Koslowitz said she found the meeting to ultimately be “very frustrating.”

“We received no answers. We have to look into different ways than before. Since 2007, this situation has been prevalent. It’s unacceptable that nothing can be done. I’m going to see what I can do, alert the mayor’s office and look for answers.”

Pilot program aims to prevent flooding


| brennison@queenscourier.com

A pilot program unveiled by the city will monitor elevated flow levels in sewers in hopes to prevent future flooding.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) installed 21 manhole covers — 11 in Queens — with monitoring sensors that will alert the agency when there is an elevated flow in the sewer.

Crews will then be sent out to perform necessary maintenance to help ward off flooding during heavy rain.

Flooding in the borough is becoming an increasingly prominent issue as many residents throughout Queens were flooded multiple times during storms this summer.

“Maintaining our 7,400 miles of sewer lines requires the smart allocation of resources and this monitoring technology will alert us to the areas that are most in need of attention,” said DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland. “When elevated flow levels are detected our staff will be able to inspect, and if necessary perform maintenance, on the sewer line and stop a problem before it gets worse.”

The pilot program will cost $300,000. Twenty more manhole covers uquipped with the sensors will be installed in the spring.

 

Glendale flood heroes honored


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley’s office

Two FDNY EMTs who helped save the life of three residents — including a nun — caught in a Glendale flash flood, were honored recently while Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley renewed calls for an investigation into the flooding.

Crowley feted EMTs Jimmy Guailacela and Marilyn Arroyo at the city council stated meeting on Wednesday, September 12 for coming to the aid of Sister Claudia Bradshaw and Mary and Joseph Lawrence last month as the Cooper Avenue underpass flooded with several feet of water, submerging the car.

“Jimmy Guailacela and Marilyn Arroyo displayed the bravery and selflessness that embodies all of our city’s first responders,” said Crowley, chair of the Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee. “I’m proud to recognize their hard work keeping our community safe.”

The rescue workers were joined at the ceremony by Uniformed EMS Officers President Vincent Variale, Uniformed EMTs and Paramedics President Izzy Miranda, as well as Bradshaw and the Lawrences.

“Being an EMT is definitely a calling and I love what I do,” said Arroyo. “I’m so thankful we were close enough to make it in time to help and do our jobs.”

The underpass and surrounding areas has flooded multiple times during storms recently, leading Crowley to pen a letter calling on the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to investigate the reasons behind the deluge.

The councilmember met with the agency on Friday, September 14, renewing the demand for an investigation and improved infrastructure in the area.

“It is clear that the system in Glendale and parts of Middle Village are not prepared to handle heavy rainfall, which has caused thousands of dollars in damage to residents throughout my district,” said Crowley. “The city needs to acknowledge these mistakes and reimburse homeowners for their damages, and the DEP needs to lay out a plan for both short-term and long-term improvements.”

Following the meeting, the DEP agreed to conduct an investigation into the community’s flooding.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Clear in the morning, then overcast. High of 77. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the South in the afternoon. Monday night: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain after midnight. Low of 68. Winds from the South at 5 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT of the DAY: Korean Theatre Festival in New York

The 3rd annual Korean Theatre Festival in New York, presented by Korus Players Co., an international theatre company based in both New York City and Seoul, South Korea, in association with K-R Dreams Inc., kicks off today. Ending September 23, the festival will feature four plays performed at the The Secret Theater in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Repeated flooding in Glendale prompts meeting between lawmaker and DEP

The latest flood devastation in Glendale has left residents with a deluge of anger and the Department of Environmental Protection is taking notice. Read more: New York Daily News

Suspect behind 13 Queens fires is arraigned

A man accused of setting 13 fires across Queens was arraigned Sunday. Thien Dinh, 43, was arraigned this morning following his arrest on Friday on charges of arson, reckless endangerment and burglary. Read more: NY1

Police find loaded gun on man sleeping on the subway

A man sprawled out on a row of seats on a subway in Queens got a rude awakening early Saturday when cops pulled him from the train and found a loaded gun in his bag, police said. Read more: New York Daily News

Search for missing diver in Queens suspended

The Coast Guard has suspended a search for a missing diver who was last seen spear fishing in the waters off New York City. The 29-year-old man went missing at about 7 a.m. Friday near Breezy Point Surf Club in Queens. Read more: ABC New York/AP

MTA is rai$ing havoc

Straphangers could face even larger subway fare hikes than already planned because of a potential $100 million hole in the MTA’s budget. Read more: New York Post

1 year on, Occupy is in disarray; spirit lives on

Occupy Wall Street began to disintegrate in rapid fashion last winter, when the weekly meetings in New York City devolved into a spectacle of fistfights and vicious arguments. Read more: AP