A brief but powerful storm brought high winds and dropped more than two inches of rain on Queens in less than two hours on Aug. 15, causing local flooding and knocking out electricity for more than 3,200 customers.
The most dramatic event of the afternoon involved the rescue of Sister Claudia Bradshaw, a nun at St. Margaret’s Parish in Middle Village, and friends Mary and Joseph Laurence, who became trapped in their rapidly filling car in seven to nine feet of water in the Cooper Avenue Underpass in Glendale. They were pulled out by FDNY EMTs Jimmy Guailacela and Marilyn Arroyo.
Alfonso Quiroz, a spokesman for Con Edison, said about 3,200 customers in and around Middle Village lost power for about 30 minutes due to the wind and rain.
State Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) does not represent that neighborhood directly, but was in Glendale that night.
“We made some inquiries to Community Board 5 and were told that when the power went out, it was in an area that controlled power to underground pumps,” Miller said.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) is calling for the city to further investigate whether or not the flooding in the underpass is related to construction work being done by the city to shore up its circa-1935 retaining walls.
Crowley has been a fierce advocate of drainage projects in flood-prone areas of Glendale and Middle Village since taking office.
Quiroz said Con Ed ran into a bit of luck during repair operations.
“The reason we could get it back so fast is that in that area all the wires are overhead,” he said. “We can see exactly where the problem is and fix it.”
Chris Miller, a spokesman for the city’s Office of Emergency Management, said they had no serious city-wide actions. They did send out electronic notifications for flash flood and severe thunderstorm activity for Queens and Brooklyn at 1:47 and 4:24 p.m.