Tag Archives: flood

Claims pour in to city after sewage backup


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Nearly 200 Queens residents filed claims against the city in the last week after storms left their homes swamped in rainwater and sewage, officials said.

One hundred of those claims came from homeowners in Howard Beach and Lindenwood flooded, who filed notice of claim forms supplied by city Comptroller Scott Stringer against the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), according to Stringer’s office.

“We are going to do everything we can to get your money back,” Stringer said during a Howard Beach civic association meeting on May 27.

His staff handed out the forms at that meeting so people could submit them submit directly to his office, rather than file one through a lawyer. A notice of claim is usually a precursor to a lawsuit unless the claimant and the city come to an agreement over payment.

There are another 78 claims from other Queens residents who were affected by the storm, Stringer’s office said.

For the locals who didn’t see much water damage during Superstorm Sandy, the flooding from the April 30 rainstorm was surprising, according to residents.

But, according to the DEP, the flooding was not caused by nature. It was the result of a backflow from a local wastewater and sewage facility that is run by the agency. During rainstorms, the Spring Creek Facility is supposed to release the excess water into Jamaica Bay. But, according to the DEP, recently installed sensors failed to do this.

“DEP found that the new electronic system malfunctioned, and releases into the bay did not promptly occur. As a result, stormwater and wastewater backed up into streets and homes in parts of the New Lots and Lindenwood neighborhoods.” according to a press release from the DEP.

As the forms continue to come in, Stringer’s office is sending engineers out to verify the damages people claimed.

“At first, I thought this flooding was God’s doing,” said Tommy Durante, a Lindenwood resident. “But then we found out that our government caused this. So how am I supposed to trust the comptroller’s office to get me my money?”

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

 

U.S. Coast Guard visits Middle Village boy, Colin Flood, with helicopter


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Bob Holden

Follow me @liamlaguerre

 

It was a cool day on Monday for 8-year-old Colin Flood in more ways than just the weather.

Flood, who is battling his second round of acute lymphocytic leukemia, received special gifts from the U.S. Coast Guard, which landed a helicopter in a closed off Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village.

The Coast Guard wanted to treat Flood to the helicopter visit because they learned he is a fan of the TV show “Coast Guard Alaska.”

Photo by Lorraine Scuilli 

Members of the Coast Guard air crew gave Flood a tour of the helicopter and a picture of it. Flood also received a Coast Guard hat and T-shirt along with unit patches and a personal name tag. Members of the nearby 104th Precinct and the U.S. Coast Guard members then took pictures with him.

“It meant a lot to us to see the happiness on Colin’s face and to be able to fulfill his dream to see a Coast Guard helicopter up close and personal,” said John Keeley, special agent of Coast Guard Investigative Services.

Photo by Bob Holden 

About two years ago Flood was in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant and there was a successful collection drive in the neighborhood, where thousands of people volunteered to be tested.

Also, the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Flood’s wish to go to Walt Disney World Resort in November last year.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Hercules flexing his muscles in first storm of 2014


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated Friday, January 3, 7:05 a.m.

The year is starting out with a shot of nasty weather that is predicted to bring near-blizzard conditions to the city.

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a statewide state of emergency Thursday afternoon to prepare officials for winter storm Hercules, which is forecasted to bring five to nine inches of snow to the city.

“To ensure an effective and rapid response to this winter storm, I am declaring a statewide state of emergency, so resources can get to communities where they are needed as quickly as possible,” he said.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning until 1 p.m. Friday.

Cuomo also announced the Long Island Expressway will be closed from midnight to 8 a.m. on Friday from the Queens/Nassau County border and east. The Northern State Parkway and all MTA bridges and tunnels will remain open.

“As this winter storm unfolds, bringing heavy snow and high winds to many parts of the state, I strongly urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution, avoid travel and stay indoors,” he said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio emphasized the “forecast could change at any moment.”

“That’s why it’s so important for everyone to pay close attention to updates in the coming hours,” he said at his administration’s first press conference Thursday evening.

Alternate side parking has been suspended Friday to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect.

All express subway service will run local for the start of the morning rush hour, until all stored trains are moved from the express tracks. Riders should expect delays on city buses due to the weather. The Long Island Rail Road is operating on a weekend schedule effective 12:01 a.m. Friday. The Metro-North is running on a reduced schedule after 8  p.m. Thursday, and a Saturday schedule on Friday. To see any additional MTA service changes, click here.

The weather is also affecting air travel. All flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) were suspended as of about 6:12 a.m., but the airport will remain open. Flights could resume in a couple of hours, said the FAA. Thousands of flights have reportedly been canceled across the country Friday, and travelers are urged to check with their carriers before heading to the airport.

City officials have no plan to close specific streets yet, but will monitor that need as the storm progresses, de Blasio said.

The City of New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has put 2,300 workers on 12-hour shifts, and 1,700 trucks with snow plows will be deployed once two inches of snow hit the ground. To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

Kew Gardens and South Ozone Park had accumulated more than 5 inches of snow as of 4 a.m., according to NWS.

Senior centers throughout the city will be closed through Friday, and de Blasio urged city residents to keep a close eye on the homeless population.

Joe Bruno, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) commissioner, said the NYPD, FDNY, EMS and other emergency officials will “work around the clock until this is over.”

OEM has issued a hazardous travel advisory for Friday, and is warning motorists to drive slowly, monitor weather and traffic, use major streets or highways, and have the name and number of at least one local towing service.

Temperatures will be blustery, with a high Friday of 17 and low around 8. Wind chill, however, could make the weather feel as cold as 10 below zero, de Blasio said.

Borough residents hit grocery stores and gas stations Thursday afternoon to prepare for the impending storm. People were piling into the Waldbaums on Francis Lewis Boulevard just “picking up extras,” but said “the crazies” would be sure to clear the shelves in the hours to come.

“I’m getting extras just in case,” said Anita Oberwiler, who anticipated frantic shoppers to come rushing through as the afternoon pressed on.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

FEMA releases preliminary flood insurance rate maps


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

Preliminary flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) were released Thursday as the next step in FEMA’s coastal Flood Insurance Study.

Insurance rates could go up by hundreds of dollars for homeowners in flood-prone areas, specifically those in south Queens affected by Sandy. Maps will go into effect in 2015.

Following this release, a 90-day appeal and comment period will be opened in spring 2014. Those interested will be able to submit comments to the city online.

Once the appeal is over and all issues are resolved, FEMA will issue a Letter of Final Determination (LFD) to the city that will initiate a six-month adoption period before the maps become effective.

The city has additionally signed into law revised building codes which require standards reflect new and substantially improved structures as detailed in the preliminary FIRMs.

For more information on maps, click here.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. Northwest wind 13 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 30. Northwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming light north after midnight.

EVENT of the WEEKEND: Jazz Night at New York’s Legendary Metropolitan Room

The incomparable Stix Bones will be hosting two Jazz Nights during December at the renowned Metropolitan Room in NYC. Jazz Night is a seventy-five minute performance highlighting music from the forefathers of Jazz such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie, and original compositions by drummer Stix Bones. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Man dead after train push horror in Queens

A man was killed tonight after a woman pushed him into the path of an oncoming train in Queens, police sources said. The tragedy occurred at the elevated 40th Street station, near Queens Boulevard, in Sunnyside at around 8 p.m., sources added. Read more: NY Post

Sandy Hook funeral-fund scam outrages, feds charge Nouel Alba

The innocent blood spilled on the floors of a Connecticut elementary school was still warm when a Bronx woman hatched a sick scam to profit off the tragedy. Nouel Alba, 37, was busted after allegedly posing as an aunt of 6-year-old Noah Pozner — one of 20 children massacred inside Sandy Hook Elementary School — to collect money for the child’s “funeral fund,” authorities said. Read more: Daily News

Official: Endangered whale beached in Queens dead

A 60-foot whale was found dead on Thursday after getting stranded on a beach in a coastal enclave of New York City that was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy. The animal — part of an endangered species known as finback or fin whales — was severely emaciated but clinging to life when it was discovered Wednesday stranded on the bay side of Breezy Point. Volunteer firefighters sprayed water on the whale as it sat halfway out of the water. Read more: NY Post

Wednesday storm causes more issues for residents of two Jamaica homes

Wednesday’s storm caused more problems for some Jamaica residents whose homes were severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Natasha Francis and her two kids are staying with family and friends. She said Hurricane Sandy damaged her roof, and now there’s water everywhere. Read more: NY1

2 armed robbers terrorize Queens shopkeepers

Cops say two men have been very busy this holiday season from terrorizing six Queens shopkeepers. On December 5th, Nisha Sharvo was minding her business behind the back pharmacy counter of Quick Script Drugs in Hollis, when on her security monitors she watched the men hold up the front counter and order staff and customers to the floor while robbing them – all before making a beeline for Sharvo. Read more: ABC Local

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: A slight chance of showers after 4pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 48. North wind 5 to 7 mph becoming east in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent. Thursday night: Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 15 mph

EVENT of the DAY: The Prodigal Scrooge: A Holiday Gospel Faith Musical

Ozone Park’s New Life Apostolic Church presents Ebenezer Scrooge as an arrogant, wealthy casino owner who lives a lavish lifestyle on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Though once a faithful servant of Christ, he allows his determination for success to overshadow all aspects of his life. This unique musical fuses the Charles Dickens classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ with the New Testament parable of the The Prodigal Son. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

1 dead, 33 injured in 35-vehicle crash on Long Island Expressway

One person died and 33 people were hurt in a 35-vehicle crash on the Long Island Expressway Wednesday that may have been caused by an out-of-control trucker, authorities said. Some vehicles, including an 18-wheel tractor trailer, were set ablaze after the two-dozen cars and trucks smashed up in the wild wreck near Exit 68 in Shirley shortly before 3 p.m., authorities said. Read more: Daily News

Exiting pols lavish raises on staffers

Lame-duck state legislators showered loyal staffers with fat raises after their defeats, a Post analysis of state-payroll records found. As state Sens. Shirley Huntley (D-Queens) and David Storobin (R-Brooklyn) prepared to exit their government offices at the end of this month, they suddenly promoted pet staffers and granted them salary hikes that, in some cases, are higher pay rates than their own. Read more: NY Post

Queens resident staying at grocery store after Sandy destroyed his apartment

With no place to live, Michael Riley spends his days sitting on this ledge and his nights inside a grocery store. He has been a fixture there for nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy destroyed his apartment. Read more: NY1

Phony Queens doc busted for bad butt surgery

A phony Queens doctor was busted Wednesday for botching a butt enhancement, police said Wednesday. Liliana Coello, 39, was charged with assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon, the syringe she used to inject the victim’s buttocks with silicone, police said. Read more: Daily News

Council bills aim to study Sandy impact, prevent future damages

Members of the City Council have introduced legislation to improve infrastructure across the five boroughs, in hopes of protecting against damage from future storms. The package of bills suggests installing higher floors in new buildings located in flood- prone areas. Read more: NY1

Queens psychiatric hospital settles with government over discrimination claim

A Queens psychiatric hospital has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, following a claim that it discriminated against non-U.S. citizens in hiring procedures. Read more: CBS NY

 

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.

Flood advisory issued for Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Heavy rains and thunderstorms may cause flash flooding throughout the borough.

The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory with up to one inch of rain per half hour forecasted to be poured on Queens through 2 p.m.

Forty mph winds are expected to accompany the thunderstorm.

Heavy rain over a short period of time caused massive flooding in many areas of Queens two weeks ago, placing streets under water, while flooding residents’ basements.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY: “West Side Story” at St. Albans Park

Winner of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, this classic musical set among the tenements of New York City finds star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony caught in the midst of a turf war between rival street gangs. Written by Ernest Lehman, Arthur Laurents, and others. Directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise.

Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Flushing church’s act of kindness backfires

Leaders of a local Christian church are bemoaning an act of kindness after spending $2,000 in legal fees and close to two years to try to evict a pair of stubborn squatters they say have no plans to leave. The Queensboro Hill Community Church of Flushing opened its doors to two homeless women and their dog a year-and-a-half ago when church officials found the down-on-their-luck duo sleeping on a mat in a 4×8 room in the basement, said Joe Illigasch, who has close ties with the church. Read more: Queens Courier

Flash floods catch New Yorkers by surprise

A line of heavy showers that passed through parts of the city this afternoon has left some streets under water and some homeowners reporting flooded basements. The heavy rainfall temporarily shut down parts of the Grand Central Parkway, Van Wyck Expressway, as well as sections of the Clearview and Long Island Expressways. Read more: NY1

Senator Schumer wants a ‘Nerd Bus’ to connect high-tech hubs in Brooklyn and Queens

New York’s senior senator is calling for a “Nerd Bus” that would link up high tech hubs in Brooklyn and Queens with Roosevelt Island — and help some of the city’s brightest bulbs get around town. Read more: NY Daily News

Queens teacher shines in swimming at Transplant Games

Gutsy Queens teacher Alison Cain earned four swimming medals last weekend at an Olympic-style event for U.S. transplant patients — a feel-good triumph that was part medical, part miracle. Read more: NY Daily News

 

Flash flood warning issued for Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Heavy rains may cause flash floods throughout the borough.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a flash flood warning for Queens lasting until 2 p.m.

More than an inch of rain has already fallen in parts of Queens and one to two more inches is possible.

Some flooding is already occurring and is imminent other places, the NWS said.

The southbound Van Wyck Expressway at exit 6, the eastbound Grand Central Parkway between the Long Island Expressway and Jewel Avenue and the eastbound Long Island Expressway at Francis Lewis Boulevard are closed.

Highways, underpasses and other low-lying spots are most vulnerable to flooding.

The NWS warned that just one foot of flood water is enough to sweep a vehicle off the road.

 

Flood advisory issued in Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Rain

A flood advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) as a result of the morning’s heavy rains.

Rain was falling at rates up to an inch per hour, flooding roadways, underpasses and low-lying areas.

A special weather statement was also issued by the agency due to the thunderstorms in the area.

The NWS reminded residents that if you can hear thunder you are close enough to be struck by lightning and should remain indoors if possible.