Monday, August 23, 2010

Some homeowners stuck in a real shitty situation

From CBS 2:

Carmen Thomas was attempting to recover from a deluge that claimed the boiler, washer, dryer and nearly everything else in her Queens basement after five feet of water made its way into her home.

“Horrible, crazy, it stinks,” Thomas said. “Sewer water – everything is all ruined.”

Thomas’ home on 139th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard is just one of dozens of homes on the street that suffered the same fate.

In the basement of Richard Green’s home, a sliding glass door was pushed in – frame and all.

“It came down the steps from the backyard and over the other houses,” Green said of the sewage that made its way into his home.

But next door, where a commercial cleaning company was at work, the owner said much of the flooding “back-up” from the sanitary sewer.

“Found out it was coming from the main sewage line and after that, sewage started coming up. Raw sewage coming out the main line,” resident George Brash said.

The Department of Environmental Protection said crews were cleaning sewer catch basins and draining sewers after they were just overtaxed.

The city was passing out flyers in Springfield Gardens Monday, advising flood victims how to go about filing claims against the city, which may be liable.


Anonymous said...

This is not a unique incident. Some neighborhoods are prone to sewer backups. It is a result of the combined sanitary and storm sewers. When they get overloaded, the pressure forces the waste in to the homes. Parts of Whitestone, Flushing, and Bayside have the same problem. Several years ago someone died trying to clear their sewer during a storm.
160th street is a main sewer line, you can hear the water running under the street, even on dry days. Many of the areas storm drains funnel to this street. A visit to this area shows wooden planks up in front of some driveways to prevent water from the flooded street from coming down the driveways and into the basements, and hoses from sump pumps leading from the basements. Good luck getting the city to take any responsibility for inadequate infrastructure.
"This is a very large sewer, which leads us to determine that this man had internal problems between his house and the street,"
This statement shows that the DEP does not even understand the scope of the problem.

Anonymous said...

The Bloomberg administration has turned a blind eye towards the increasing flooding problems here and it's impossible to get the DEP and the DOB to do their jobs. These problems are all due to the increasing amount of concrete in the city, the lack of natural drainage areas, litter going down catch basins and not being cleaned out and the increasingly deteriorated sewerage infrastructure which simply cannot handle the amount of waste and water flow from residents.

In Astoria, it has been common for developers to close up sewer lines from community drives which naturally diverted rain water AWAY from basements. Now , with nowhere for rainwater to run naturally to the system, it stagnates and seeps into people's basements and garages.

Keep cutting down trees and building 10 story houses here and this city will be West Nile Virus City.

Anonymous said...

Try to find a graduate of Springfield Gardens High School who doesn't have a memory of wading there after a big rainstorm.

Anonymous said...

The DEP does not replace lines that are too small to handle new capacity after new construction has been introduced to an area doubling waste and nor does it account for multiple families living in in existing structures with CO accounting for 1 family - the city does not enforce the building codes upon receiving complaints. So other homeowners are now experiencing sewer backups that they never had!