Tag Archives: 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.

 

Thunderstorms, hail to hit Queens; flood warning issued


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Rain has already begun falling in Queens and strong winds and quarter-sized hail may follow.

The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the borough warning of heavy rain, hail, lightning strikes and gusts of winds up to 60 mph.

Up to two inches of rain per hour is expected.

The NWS issued a flash flood warning lasting until 3:15 p.m.  Highways, underpasses, streets and low-lying areas are at risk of flooding.

 

 

 

Weekend Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

The-Afternoon-Roundup2

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney names Paul Ryan as his running mate

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney selected Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate Saturday – a bold choice meant to excite the GOP’s conservative base and further make the economy the defining issue of the election. Romney announced his decision Saturday morning at a naval yard in Norfolk, Va., and the duo’s first appearance as a campaign ticket came, appropriately, on the USS Wisconsin – which represents Ryan’s home state. Read more: Daily News

Queens suspect sought in sex assault on girl, 10

Cops are hunting for a creep who they say sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in the elevator of a Queens apartment building. The suspect went into the lift with the girl and started riding down to the basement level of the building near Colden St. and Franklin Ave. in Flushing about 7:30 p.m. on July 31, sources said. Read more: Daily News

Shot cop Craig Bier released from hospital

Sergeant Craig Bier, who was shot in each leg while pursuing a suspect, was released today from the hospital. Wearing a backward baseball cap and a bandage covering his right knee, the 15-year veteran left Jamaica Hospital less than two days after being shot and a day following surgery to remove a bullet from his leg. Read more: Queens Courier

Queens residents want solutions for flooding problems

The flood waters are long gone except for a small section of Utopia Parkway, where ponding often happens. Some homeowners believe the pooling is caused by the slope in the street and sinking sidewalks. They said they tried for years to get the city’s Environmental Protection and Transportation Departments to fix the problem. Read more: NY1

Queens residents rally to keep local head start program open

Dozens of pre-school children, parents and teachers in Queens rallied Friday to try to keep their local Head Start program open. The Rockaway Head Start is scheduled to close on Sept. 30 because of a lack of funding. The school serves 66 children, ages three to five. Read more: NY1

Rain in forecast through Thursday; flood advisory issued


| brennison@queenscourier.com

rain

After a May with the most rain since 2004, more precipitation is forecasted for every day this week.

Approximately a quarter inch of rain is expected today, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), higher in areas that get hit with thunderstorms.

Due to the expected rains, the NWS has issued a coastal flood advisory for Queens for tonight into early tomorrow morning.

Low-lying areas along the shoreline should expect minor to moderate flooding.

New Yorkers have grown used to the rainy weather after more than 5.75 inches of rain fell in May, the second most rain in the month this millennium, and it isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. Three of the first four days of June have seen rainfall, and the forecast predicts a better than 30 percent chance of rain everyday through Thursday.

 

Sewers will relieve water woes on Metropolitan Avenue


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley

A current of constituent complaints, along with a wave of support from a local councilmember, has turned the tide for an oft-flooded local stretch of road.

Metropolitan Avenue between 80th Street and Cooper Avenue will receive a new storm sewer system to help relieve flooding, Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley recently announced.

Work began on Monday, March 5.

“For too long, even the slightest rain created dangerous flooding conditions on Metropolitan Avenue near St. John Cemetery,” said Crowley.

The road which cuts through the burial ground is often reduced to a river following any rainfall, creating traffic buildup and dangerous black ice when the water freezes during winter.

“I’m pleased to have worked with DEP [the Department of Enviornmental Protection] to remedy this nuisance for the community,” Crowley said. “Repairs like these are an investment in our neighborhoods that will improve the quality of life for residents for years to come.”

Crowley first wrote to the DEP in April of 2010 asking for the agency to investigate the area’s “ongoing problem” of four lanes of flooding and the potential health hazard of standing water.

Twenty-four inch storm sewers will be installed along with a catch basin to help alleviate the flooding in the area, a DEP spokesperson said.

The agency said the work should be completed by mid-June.

 

Rising water levels in southeast Queens still a problem


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Assemblymember William Scarborough.

Mold spores several inches in diameter cover the walls of homes in St. Albans. In Jamaica, hoses running from basements constantly drain the filthy water that has leaked inside.

The level of standing water underground in southeast Queens is rising and washing away the quality of life for many residents, damaging their homes and potentially their health, according to local politicians.

Assemblymember William Scarborough hosted a meeting to discuss the issue at The Robert Ross Johnson Family Life Corner in St. Albans on Thursday, November 10. Officials offered attendees the opportunity to submit a form describing the extent of damage done to their homes by rising water. Over 200 forms were collected.

“We’re seeking to motivate the community because this has got to be solved,” said Scarborough.

Rising water levels in southeast Queens have been a problem since 1996, when the area’s local water supplier, Jamaica Water Supply, was overtaken by the Department of Environmental Preservation (DEP). Southeast Queens was the last area of the city to be acquired by the DEP, the organization that provides water for all of New York City.

According to Scarborough, instead of taking water from one of the 69 previously present underground wells in the area, the DEP brought in water from other sources, causing the ground water level to rise. The standing water is now almost at surface level.

“The city had to know there would be a consequence,” said Scarborough.

About 10 years ago, the DEP realized there was widespread flooding.

The DEP then directed their attention to cleaning up the well at Station 24 in St. Albans, which became toxic due to chemical runoff from a dry cleaner across the street, as well as implementing new technology to pump and purify the water at Station 6, which was expected to deliver between six and 10 million gallons of water per day.
Scarborough alleges that without notice, the project was abandoned in 2005 because of the cost, and the water rose even further.

In a hearing with the City Council Environmental Protection Committee on September 24, 2007, Former DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd testified that the water had risen over 30 feet between 1996 and 2007, Scarborough told The Courier.

“Our whole effort now is to get the DEP to provide a solution,” said Scarborough, who noted that he hopes the organization that was supposed to better the lives of residents in southeast Queens will return to finish the job it started.

Southeast Queens residents deal with flooding, sewage


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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Thousands of residents in southeast Queens are sinking deeper into the sewage that now engulfs their homes.

Mold spores and flooding have become and remain a constant problem for homeowners after the city took over the area’s water supply in 1996.

“It smells terrible. You see feces in the water and black stuff. It’s just terrible,” said Lurline Williams, 73, of Jamaica.

Williams said she uses five pumps a day to try and alleviate the flooding, but “the water never goes away,” she said.

Prior to 1996, the southeast Queens community received water from the Jamaica Water Supply Company, according to Assemblymember William Scarborough. The private company pumped, purified and distributed water from 68 wells.

When the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) took over, it stopped draining and pumping water out of the ground, making the water level rise higher than certain basements in the area, he said.

“These are people’s homes that are being ruined,” Scarborough said. “They’re spending a lot of money year after year for water pumps and they still can’t make their basements fully dry. Their floors and furniture in their basement are ruined. Some of them can’t even go into their basements anymore.”

Williams, a homeowner in Jamaica for 43 years, said that despite extreme damages, she still has to go down to her basement frequently to use her washer and dryer.

“I feel terrible. It’s heart breaking,” she said. “I just pray to God that something or someone will step up and go on and help us with the problem we’ve been having.”

The DEP has invested nearly $242 million since 2002 to build out the storm sewer system and reduce surface flooding in the southeast Queens area, said spokesperson Farrell Sklerov. The department also plans to invest $124 million in sewers over the next five years to help reduce further flooding.

Aside from that, the DEP has no plans to permanently pump out the groundwater due to a “prohibitively costly and extremely energy intensive process that would have to be paid for by increased water rates.”

City Councilmember Leroy Comrie told The Courier that the issue needs to be addressed immediately.

“I’m not happy that the DEP has not really dealt with the issue. It came up in meetings that they’ve kind of given up on a groundwater solution,” he said. “They don’t want to answer any questions or deal with it. It’s creating a major problem for the community.”

Scarborough also expressed concerns for the health of the residents.

“People are working hard to keep these properties nice and — to no fault of their own — their property is being damaged and their health is being threatened because of constant exposure,” he said. “That is unacceptable. People are suffering.”