Tag Archives: rain

A mix of snow & rain expected during morning commute tomorrow


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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New Yorkers will likely have to deal with a wintry mix of rain and snow during their commute tomorrow morning.

The precipitation is set to begin early tomorrow with the snowfall picking up at around 8 a.m., according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Approximately one inch of accumulation is expected. Snow will give way to rain in the afternoon.

The Department of Sanitation began loading salt spreaders today in preparation for the storm and has issued a “snow alert.”

Governor declares state of emergency as Hurricane Sandy heads for Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Meteorologists expect the pre-Halloween hurricane horror “Frankenstorm” to strike Queens early Monday with the strongest surge coming later that day.

Hurricane Sandy has already blown through Haiti and Cuba and is forecasted to make a significant impact on a large portion of the New York metro area, said National Weather Service meteorologist David Stark.  Due to the storm’s potential impact, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency throughout New York.

Tropical storm-level winds may begin Sunday night with the stronger gusts coming Monday.  Sustained winds at 40-50 mph with gusts 60-70 mph  are expected with the potential for even stronger bursts.  Power outages, structural damage and downed trees are common in those types of winds.

Waves may reach 2o-25 feet off the coast.

“What we’ve been saying to everyone in coastal communities is prepare for a significant amount of coastal flooding,” Stark said.

During the heaviest rainfall, one to two inches per hour may flood areas.

Officials have not yet issued mandatory evacuations of low-lying areas, though they are still possible.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has canceled all elective admissions at hospital in Zone A, which include the Queens neighborhoods of the Rockaways, Hamilton Beach and Broad Channel.

A decision on whether to close schools in the city will likely be made on Sunday, the mayor said.

Hurricanes rarely touch down in the area this late in hurricane season which lasts through November. Some have briefly touched the area in October, Stark said.

“It’s happening a little closer to land than what is typically common,” Stark said.

The “Frankenstorm” is interacting with a jet stream and cold front from the west pulling it back to the west rather than continuing out into open waters.

 

Forest Hills seeks flood fix


| MKirk@queenscourier.com

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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.”

Strong storm to strike area; tornado watch issued


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Strong winds and heavy rain is expected to sweep through the area today lasting well into Wednesday morning.

Rain has already begun falling in Queens accompanied by 30 mph gusts of wind. The storm is expected to strike hardest in the evening.

A thunderstorm warning has been issued for the borough through 8:30 p.m.

Forecasts call for the winds to pick up in the early afternoon with gusts to approach 50 mph. The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory warning residents that downed limbs, trees and power lines are possible in the severe weather.

With the wind will be torrential rains — up to two inches of rain is possible — along with thunder and lightning.

The severe storm can potentially aid in the formation of a tornado, the NWS said. There is a tornado watch in effect for NYC, including Queens, until 9 p.m.  A twister touched down in Queens 10 days ago in Breezy Point.

The storm is expected to remain in the area through tomorrow morning.

 

 

Forest Hills gets fresh flooding fix


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Away goes trouble, down the drain.

Rampant rains that saturated homes and submerged cars earlier this month expedited plans by the New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Design and Construction (DDC) to complete the installation of a water-distribution system, expected to alleviate flooding in steadily soaked Forest Hills.

The $24 million upgrade targets roadway flooding and added approximately one mile of new sewer lines and half a mile of water mains. The project was funded by the DEP and will be overseen by the DDC.

Paul Pearlman, owner of Emilio’s Ski Shop, said flooding remains a major problem in the area.

“Every time it rains, the water just comes right in,” Pearlman said. “The water gets so backed up it just comes in. Even if it’s just a little rain, it floods.”

The business owner, whose store is located at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 76th Avenue, said his shop’s basement flooded on Saturday, September 8, after the DEP announced the completion of the revamped sewer system.

According to DEP commissioner Carter Strickland, the city agency plans to invest over half a billion dollars into improving the sewer infrastructure in Queens, reducing system overflows, backups and flooding.

“These new roadways, catch basins, and sewers will reduce flooding, improve water delivery, and yield a more attractive streetscape for the residents of Forest Hills,” said Eric MacFarlane, deputy commissioner for infrastructure at the DDC.

The project includes the installation of approximately 1,700 feet of sanitary sewer lines, more than 4,000 feet of storm sewer lines, 55 catch basins and 49 manholes, as well as the replacement of a 2,400-foot section of a water distribution main — fixtures the city believes will increase sewer capacity, reduce flooding and diminish backups.

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.

 

 

 

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

 

Severe storms to strike city this evening; isolated tornadoes possible


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Rain

Isolated tornadoes are possible as part of the severe storms that are expected to hit the city this evening.

Powerful thunderstorms are forecasted to reach the city between 5 and 6 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

The storm’s  strong winds, heavy rain, large hail and threats of tornadoes prompted Governor Andrew Cuomo to activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center today.

“New Yorkers should be especially aware of the weather conditions when making their travel plans today and monitor local news reports and weather alerts throughout the day,” Cuomo said.

Residents face lightning, winds nearing 60 mph, hail up to one inch in diameter and one to two inches of rain per hour, according to the NWS.

The NWS issued a special weather statement that expires at midnight.

 

Severe thunderstorm warning issued


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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The Heat bested the Thunder last night, but some thunder may do away with the heat today.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has upgraded the severe thunderstorm watch to a warning.  Winds of 50 mph are expected shortly, the NWS reported.

A flood advisory has also been issued.  some areas may see up to an inch of rain over the next hour.

The watch will remain in effect for Queens until 9 p.m. tonight.

The storm should help break the heat and humidity that have blanketed the city the past three days.  Temperatures over the weekend are forecasted for the 80s.

 

 

Rain in forecast through Thursday; flood advisory issued


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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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.

 

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.

 

Severe storm warning issued for Queens; Quarter-sized hail expected


| jlane@queenscourier.com

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The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Queens this afternoon. The NWS reported that the storm may produce quarter sized hail and winds in excess of 60 mph.

Heavy lightning is also expected with the storm. The potentially dangerous conditions have led the NWS to advise residents to stay indoors until the storm passes.

Heavy rain – one and a half inches per hour – may accompany the storm causing possible coastal flooding.