NY Environmental Report:
On August 13th, New York State witnessed the greatest 24-hour rainfall, 13.27 inches, in its recorded history. The state record – last set in 2011 – was broken in West Islip, Long Island, fewer than 30 miles from the Queens border.
A flash flood watch went in effect throughout New York City, and beaches in Brooklyn and Staten Island were closed to swimmers the following day. The heavy rain had overloaded sewer mains, necessitating the release of untreated sewage directly into local waterways.
If the City’s climate scientists are right, New York will steadily become a wetter city, subject to more frequent and intense rainfall – and thus, more overloaded sewers and water-related health risks.
And at the very same time that New York’s climate is shifting, the City is engaged in what will be a decades-long effort to address a long-standing problem: the need to capture stormwater before it overwhelms sewers and treatment plants, triggering the release of untreated sewage into Jamaica Bay, the Bronx River, and other waterways.