Residents in Middle Village are up to their knees in their own waste any time there’s heavy rain — thanks to aging sewer lines the city hasn’t fixed despite a decade of promises, The Post has learned.
“I pray when I hear storms coming,” said Pat Donovan, 66, one of many local residents affected by the overflowing sewers.
Last Tuesday, a powerful storm pounded the central Queens community, causing the sewers to back up and leaving homeowners with as much as 3 feet of waste in their basements, with “actual turds” floating in the noxious waters, residents and a local official said.
“We had a waterfall just coming out of the toilet in my basement,” said Louisa Gennari, 61, who called dealing with the floods a “horrific” battle.
“Somebody came in to help us at some point and he went home and put his feet in alcohol,” she said. “It was disgusting.”
The problem goes back decades, but came to light on Aug. 8, 2007, when a flash flood left Middle Village residents with tens of thousands of dollars in damage, with many needing help from FEMA.
The city’s Department of Environmental Protection said the existing storm drains can handle only 1.5 inches of rain — and after that storm, it vowed to fix the issue with drains that can handle 1.75 inches.
It slapped a $22 million price tag on the project, but waited nine more years to break ground in May 2016. It was then halted in November 2017 when contaminated soil was discovered.
The city’s Department of Design and Construction said an additional $8 million was needed to finish the job, but those funds were never allocated.