Alleviate Massive Flooding
State Senator Tony Avella joined residents who live along 57th Avenue in Little Neck in calling on the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the immediate installation of curb openings and additional catch basins to alleviate the massive flooding conditions that plague their neighborhood even after the most marginal rain.
Residents have been complaining to DEP for years that the current catch basins clog far too easily, leading to the flooding of basements and garages of at least six houses on the block.
“DEP needs to take immediate action to help these homeowners,” stated Avella. “Rainwater flows down the hill straight into their homes unimpeded. Residents of this city shouldn’t live in fear that the next rainstorm will cause serious damage to their homes.”
During Hurricane Irene, residents spent the night working in shifts to clear out the catch basins in an attempt to prevent any flooding. The basins had to be cleared at 1 a.m., 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. during extremely high winds and dangerous conditions.
Resident Marvin Tessler stated, “This past August 1, nine homes were inundated with up to four feet of water, leaves and mud in their finished basements and garages. The damages were extensive and involved cars, home goods, furniture, clothing, irreplaceable artwork, foundation walls and flooring. The falling leaves clog the openings in the existing catch basins and storm water drainage is obstructed. The photographs taken after the August 1 0flood poignantly depict the problem. Let the pictures speak for themselves.”
Flooding of this area is recurrent and dates back to 1987 when the city installed sewers and catch basins on 57th Avenue after the settlement of a suit brought by the homeowners.
At that time, a private engineer retained by the homeowners, advised the city that their plans failed to provide adequate catch basins and the basins should be of a hook and hanger type.
The city ignored the engineers’ recommendations.
Avella continued, “While DEP’s initial response to install one hood and hanger was encouraging, it does not go far enough. There needs to be two to three additional hood and hangers for the existing basins and the installation of additional basins. These are common sense steps that need to be taken to resolve a longstanding and often devastating flooding condition.”
Residents of the block contacted Avella’s office in early April to ask for his assistance in obtaining additional catch basins. Since that time, Avella has personally visited the location and written five letters to DEP requesting an immediate solution to relieve the flooding conditions.