The new Emergency Flood Response plan will be directed toward “rain events significant enough to to cause damage, but not catastrophic,” Bloomberg added. The city’s existing Coastal Storm Plan will remain in place, and will supersede the new plan in more extreme cases.
Mayor Unveils New Plans To Stem Flash Flooding
He cited three storms last year — April 15, July 18 and Aug. 8 — as the impetus for the task force’s study, and noted that global climate concerns added urgency to the issue.
DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd agreed, calling flash floods “one of the early effects of climate change that we’re going to feel rather quickly.” She emphasized the need for more green space and more trees, noting that runoff had increased by 50 percent over the last 20 to 30 years because of urban development.
The issue is a familiar one in many Queens neighborhoods where last summer’s storms affected places like Glendale, Jackson Heights, Middle Village and Woodside.
As part of their work, the taskforce designated 10 pilot-phase Stormwater Mitigation Study Areas, defined as having “experienced repeated flooding events in the past several years.” All 10 areas are in Queens, specifically: Jackson Heights, Woodside, Elmhurst, Middle Village, Yellowstone Boulevard in the Forest Hills area, Jamaica, Cambria Heights; and Queensboro Hill, Hillcrest Utopia and Flushing Field, in Flushing.
Longer-term strategies vary from area to area, in terms of method and completion time. For example, in Jackson Heights, plans to replace existing combined sewer lines along 30th Avenue are projected to reach completion by 2010; in Middle Village, yet-to-be-identified upgrades to the Lutheran and Penelope avenues sewer system could take place over the next 30 years.
Only 30 years, eh? We especially like the fact that you are blaming overdevelopment for the flooding yet are encouraging more of it. Excellent job, Mr. Bloomberg.