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Queens Chronicle

Hollis is hammered by summer storm

Residents say intersection doesn’t need seriously bad weather to flood

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Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2019 10:30 am

The July thunderstorms that temporarily shut Queens’ airports and knocked out power for more than 50,000 in Queens and Brooklyn also left more than two feet of water in the intersection of 183rd Street and 90th Avenue in Hollis.

But Sahedeo Bhagwandin, who has lived at the intersection for 15 years, says flooding doesn’t take a super cell.

“It happens every time we get a heavy rain,” he said. “Not as bad as we had on July 22, but our basements can get flooded.”

He and his neighbors said last week that at least three of their neighbors’ cars were totally destroyed in the July 22 storm. Even the smaller ones — the worst, all said, came in 2007 — have cost personal belongings and damage to their homes.

Four residents told the Chronicle that on July 22, two officers from the 103rd Precinct abandoned their car during the storm to wade into the intersection to rescue a man and his two children who had become trapped in their car by thigh-high water.

Capt. Carlos Fabara, executive officer of the 103rd, confirmed that Sgt. John Gherardi and Officer Brian Webber pulled the three out, their primary concern being that submerged manhole covers had been dislodged by the rising water had the civilians attempted to make it out on their own.

Abdool Hack said he has filled out claim forms from the city for years.

“We never get anything,” he said.

“They say it’s ‘an act of God,’” Bhagwandin said. City officials, including the Department of Environmental Protection, say they are aware of the problem.

“The flooding witnessed in Hollis last month was not an isolated incident,” Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) told the Chronicle in an email. “I’ve had conversations with anguished residents and homeowners in this area since before I took office, and ensuring focuses on the needs of this community has long been a priority. We secured $2 billion for flood mitigation work at the City Council to prevent future incidents like this one, and then we passed a law to ensure that the process for spending those funds would be transparent. But now we need this funding to go towards the proper implementation of flood relief.”

Miller said he is working with the DEP and Department of Design and Construction to see that necessary work is done.

Visiting the neighborhood on a rain-free day, one can immediately see that the intersection is downhill in all four directions. In an email, DEP spokesman Edward Timbers said that was just one problem on July 22.

“The intersection of 90th Avenue and 183rd Street is the low point in the immediate neighborhood — the adjoining intersections sitting between four and 14 feet above it,” he said. “There is a 66-inch diameter storm sewer running under 90th Avenue and eight catch basins at the intersection. The heavy rain that hit portions of Queens in a short period of time overwhelmed the capacity of the system in low lying areas such as the intersection of 90th Avenue and 183rd Street.”

Timbers said it is important that residents report any flooding or pooling of water to 311 so that the DEP can investigate whether the system is operating properly including whether catch basins are blocked by debris.

“DEP will investigate whether any drainage capacity can be added at the intersection,” Timbers wrote. He added that data from 311 calls is used to plan capital projects and upgrades.

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1 comment:

  • Barbara Walls posted at 3:14 am on Sat, Aug 10, 2019.

    Barbara Walls Posts: 2

    If you are living in the storm disaster areas, then in this case you must have already done with the insurance of water damage. If Insurance company denies the policy, then you can take help from https://www.alliancepublicadjusters.com/public-adjuster-anaheim who can take steps ahead from your side.