Along Edsall Avenue in Glendale, residents are growing frustrated.
“There is no drainage on the street,” said Enzo Puccio, who lives on Edsall, before Community Board 5 last Thursday. “When it rains, water just piles up for weeks on end until the next rainstorm comes and there is no place for all the water to go to.”
Flooding in Glendale and Middle Village has been an ongoing battle. The Cooper Avenue Underpass, just a couple blocks away from Puccio’s residence, took years to redesign and renovate and has only now been open for several months.
“We’ve seen significant improvements from [the Department of Environment Protection],” Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) said. “Of course I’m always going to want more for the residents in my district. There is still so much more to do which is part of the reason I’m running for re-election, to ensure that these changes are made.”
Since entering office, Crowley has had the DEP conduct major construction to improve flooding problems in her district.
“We have approximately 500 basins that have been cleaned, repaired or replaced and we’ve had over three miles of sewers inspected and have had pipes replaced where they need to be replaced,” she said.
But the work is slow moving as it requires capital funding, which is why Puccio asked that CB 5 consider making the street a priority in the 2015 fiscal year budget request, due Oct. 31.
“Mosquitoes are everywhere, the water is dirt and it’s just a terrible situation,” he said. “Whoever lives in Glendale knows of the problems on that street.”
Flooding isn’t the only issue the residents on Edsall Avenue face.
“People use it as a dumping ground,” Puccio said. “There is garbage everywhere, kids are always hopping the fence to play on the train tracks and smoke you know what and nobody does anything about it.”
The difficulty in solving the many issues that have developed on Edsall Avenue is that it runs parallel to the Long Island Rail Road tracks, meaning any trash, broken fences or other issues that occur near the tracks are the LIRR’s responsibility.
What’s more, the DEP said that the sewers on Edsall are functioning properly but the problem lies in the street grade, which is angled away from the sewer, preventing water from entering the catch basin. And there are no catch basins on Edsall, so even if the street was resurfaced, the water would still have to travel to Central Avenue.
The DEP said it would speak with the Department of Transportation on the grading issue and see if it can be resolved, though Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) and his office have been working for years to improve the conditions, working with various city agencies.
CB 5’s budget request is just beginning to come together, so whether the street will be on the priority list is still up in the air.