Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thompson to Queens: "You lose."

From the Daily News:

Hundreds of Queens homeowners whose homes were ravaged by torrential rainstorms and flooding in 2007 found out this week the city won't be paying them for their losses.

City Controller Bill Thompson, who informed the property owners of the decision via letters, said he had no choice but to reject their claims.

He cited a Department of Environmental Protection investigation that found the city was not liable. Heavy rains overwhelmed the sewer lines and workers did everything they could to battle the floods, according to the DEP.

About 328 people from Queens filed claims to the city after the July downpours, and 810 people filed after the August floods.

Victims of the July storms have until April 15 to file lawsuits against the city. The deadline for victims of the August flood is May 5.


Taxpayer said...

So how is Thompson any improvement over the Commissar?

Queens to Thompson: Get lost!

linda said...

wow, middle village has been complaining to the city for such a long time about the sewer problems and now this. I really hope the homeowners come together and sue the city.

Snake Plissskin said...

So how is Thompson any improvement over the Commissar?

Funny how Bloomberg made billions over the past few years, yet there is no money for these people.

And Bloomberg wants 10000s more making the situation worse.

Answer your question?

Anonymous said...

This is a set-up.

I can see the city tell Thompson this is the solution, forcing him to look bad before the public.

Obviously this is Bloomberg's fault.

It is the city's responsibility to ensure that people's taxes are used to pay for infrastructure, not city planning to figure out how to put in bike lanes.

Anonymous said...

The city will always deny a claim -then they get sued and their will be a settlement. That's how it works.

Anonymous said...

$400M to steal land at Willets Point. $0 for homeowners victimized by city negligence.

Frank said...

Flooding in Queens would be a lot less sever if people would stop cementing over their yards.

Besides making out neighborhoods look like a slum (especially when they park on the newly cemented front yard) it prevents water from seeping into the ground and channels it into the sewer.

Linda said...

thompson wants to run for mayor?? well i guess he won't be getting any votes over here in queens. springfield and middle village has been complaining about the sewers for a long time they have a right to their claims. my basement was flooded also, but thats because i had the drain from my roof to the pipe on my home to the sewer and it was way too much to handle, once i resolved that i relized it wasn't from the sewer outside, so i couldn't blame the city sewers. now for others who have been complaining about this issue in their community and the city knows it!should be paid out and how does DEP say different. Well thompson you follow orders from blooomass and now you just fxxk yourself.

Jeff Simmons said...

I wanted to share with your readers the statement that the Comptroller issued today regarding the denial of flooding claims:

“Over the last year, my office has exhausted its efforts to determine whether the City would be able to compensate the hundreds of families and businesses who suffered extensive damages after severe floods in April, July and August 2007. I personally visited the affected areas and witnessed the devastation suffered by many homeowners, places of worship and businesses. I dispatched staff to neighborhoods to attend community meetings, speak with residents, and respond to questions.

After assessing the damages, I better understood the critical importance of pursuing every avenue to resolve these claims in a manner that was fair and equitable. At my request, the City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the agency responsible for managing the City’s water supply, water distribution and wastewater systems, conducted an investigation of this flooding and advised my office that it found no basis for holding the City liable for damages.

DEP indicated that the extremely heavy rainfall on those days overwhelmed the existing sewer systems in the affected areas and that its records revealed that agency personnel responded to the flooding in a timely manner and took appropriate measures to relieve the flooding conditions.

After finally receiving DEP’s findings, last Fall I offered claimants an extension of time to file suit in order to provide my office additional time to consider DEP’s findings and explore all possible options for providing compensation.

However, my office’s independent review of relevant records, including DEP’s own documents, revealed no evidence to contradict DEP’s findings, and we have been unable to find any other avenue to pay claimants.

Unfortunately, DEP’s report and that agency’s findings leave my office with no alternative but to deny these claims. Under the existing law, we are unable to provide the relief that was requested in these claims.

I deeply regret that we are not able to provide claimants with better news regarding this unfortunate incident.

Moving ahead, the City must strengthen its infrastructure so it is better equipped to handle substantial storms. I recently asked our Governor to ensure that federal stimulus funds are allocated to address the region’s infrastructure problems. New Yorkers must know that our City is accountable and is responsive.”

Maria Collier said...

I agree with Frank, "Flooding in Queens would be a lot less severe if people would stop cementing over their yards" but unfortunately there appears to be no penalty for doing so. The city should be more vigilant and issue fines as well as force the guilty parties to replace the green space. More importantly, DOE AND DOB should stop approving ill-conceived projects such as the Saint John's off campus dorm in Jamaica Estates. They were well aware prior to proceeding with the construction, that our aging sewer system could not address the needs of a building this size. The engineers report stated that would "a construction of this magnitude would cause mayor sewer backups" but everyone in the BLOOMBERG administration looked the other way. This project stands to ruin a stable community, all while SJU fattens their coffers at the expense of the residents.

Anonymous said...

Middle Village and other areas of queens have been complaining for such a long time about poor sewage drainage. not everyone cements their yards, so how can you assume that's the cause. These communities have been complaining before the rain back then, so the city owes it to them to fix the problem and compensate for their losses.

Anonymous said...

Cementing yards isn't "the cause" but it exacerbates an already bad situation. Many parts of Queens were built on the sites of old brooks and streams.

Natural forces don't go away solely because we wish them to. It is too late to go this year, but for all homeowners who want hands-on demonstrations on controlling storm water run-off and erosion make plans to visit the Philadelphia Flower show early next March.

The Philadelphia Horticultural Society and the environmental agencies of Pennsylvania are light-years ahead of anything we are doing here, and all it will cost you is the cost of transportation and a $20.00 ticket to find out.

Anonymous said...

People should get flood insurance and stop looking for bailouts.

Missing Foundation said...

The captain, not the 'shave tail', is responsible for the unit.

Bloomberg's silence over the past year gave mute evidence that he has obviously no interest in finding a solution.

If there was any hint, a report like this would have never come out.

The tone for his administration set, underling Thompson had no option but fall in his sword and look bad, or step down, and with no potential lectern for the upcoming challenge, drowned in sea of Bloomberg advertising and giddy editorial pages enjoying the cash flow.

Look at this another way.

Remember how some on this blog sneered that people in Queens take abuse without effective response?

This is Exhibit A.

No hint at a solution. Not even a glance.

You are in his pocket at best, irrelevant at worst.

The only time your community comes before his face is as a potential goldmine for another developer who will not only take your taxes (paid for local services, no?) but also make the situation worse by adding even more people.

No Flow in Glendale said...

Catch basins filled with crap are a contributing factor in this.I have neighbors who walk their dog and throw the plastic baggie into the nearest catch basin--3x/day, 7days/week.If I say anything I get flack, but it all adds up--plus the coffee cups tossed in because as one guy told me, "there are no garbage cans here in Glendale." The catch basin is the garbage can! Plus garbage blown in. Mr. Thompson could have considered that the city was negligent in not conscientiously maintaining catch basins. Take the time to peer into your catch basins, and then use 311.

Anonymous said...

Also, if you are considering buying in a particular area, pay attention to the vegetation. Certain trees, like willows, will only grow with the roots in water. If you see them, it is a sign of flooding or underground rivers that can undermine your pavement.

Snake Plissskin said...

Mr. Thompson could have considered that the city was negligent in not conscientiously maintaining catch basins.
So could Mr Bloomberg but they clean the catch basins on the East Side and in Bermuda where he lives so its not an issue in his world.

Such a typical New Yorker that understands our problems.

Anonymous said...

Flushing has complained of flooding and sewers for YEARS. We warned them this would happen. Now, it's not their fault? Unreal.