2007-10-10 / Features

'Flood Task Force' Long Overdue

Queens homeowners and residents applauded the city's decision to create a multi-agency task force to develop a plan to keep flood-prone neighborhoods above water during rainstorms.

The Flood Mitigation Task Force met for the first time on September 21, combining the efforts of a number of city agencies that will tackle the flooding problem over a six-month period, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd said.

Speaking before a City Council environmental protection panel Lloyd said, "The task force will focus its energy on in-depth investigation of the types of problems identified in Queens. From that, [the task force] will develop solutions that are applicable and effective throughout the city."

Queens Civic Congress officials called the move encouraging, applauding DEP officials for taking the borough's flooding problem seriously.

Task force members will attempt to develop an emergency flood-response plan, a mitigation plan for flood hot-spots, and an outreach and education plan to help homeowners and residents better prepare for flooding conditions.

Task Force members hope to complete the hot spot plan within 90 days. A final Task Force report is due within 30 days after completion of the hot spot plan, DEP officials said.- Liz Goff

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