Flood control: work in progress in S. Queens 1

Flooding at Al Stabile Playground in Ozone Park will be addressed in planned improvements under discussion. Other projects in the district are planned or under way. But some residents of Ozone Park and Howard Beach are still feeling left out.

“Are you sending those pictures to the city?”

A resident on Centreville Street in Ozone Park put that question to the Chronicle two weeks ago as he exited his house in a rainstorm, with flooding on the west half of the road so bad it pooled up over the grass median and sidewalk, ending at the front steps to the man’s home.

Less than two blocks to the south, the water from the street overflowed onto an asphalt sidewalk bordering the Al Stabile Playground.

While the playground is closed under city and state COVID-19 restrictions, the water went right up to the fence and had begun pooling underneath a swing set.

The area traditionally has had poor drainage, but a good deal of work is being done in the general area.

Several blocks to the south there were sewer and drainage projects on multiple streets in various stages of completion.

A spokeswoman for Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) said in an email that the park is on his agenda.

“Councilman Ulrich is funding upgrades to the playground in a capital project and is collaborating with the Parks Department to ensure flooding concerns are addressed in the design,” she said.

Almost directly to the south of the park as the crow flies, there is an ongoing storm sewer project on 95th Street in Howard Beach — which sits on the eastern bank of Shellbank Basin.

When completed, according to the city’s Department of Design and Construction, there will be new storm sewers on 95th Street between 160th and 162nd avenues. The problem, according to a resident who requested to remain anonymous, is that the project may stop one block too soon to alleviate flooding in front of homes between 160th and 159th avenues. The DDC oversees major city construction projects.

“We have the worst flooding in the neighborhood that isn’t being addressed,” said the resident, who has been told by officials that there is not yet another project in the works.

The Chronicle reached out to the DDC and the city’s Department of Environmental Protection to determine, among other things, if the ongoing project on 95th Street has been engineered to take flooding to the north into account and alleviate it.

The DDC, replying at the end of last month by email, restated the specifications of the ongoing project. DEP officials could not be reached for comment this week prior to the Chronicle’s deadline on Wednesday.

Ulrich’s office said in the case of Old Howard Beach that the councilman is working continuously with the DEP to deal with flooding issues throughout his district.

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