After years of flooding problems and spending tens of thousands of dollars to repair his building’s sewer system, a Flushing building owner says his troubles are the city’s fault.
Frank Deutschmann first started experiencing flooding in the basement of his 70-unit residential building, at 40-04 Bowne St., in spring 2008.
“It’s an ongoing struggle,” he said.
The problem cut tenants off from their laundry room and cost Deutschmann a substantial amount of money to repair the building’s boiler as well as other damages. The flooding also caused headaches for some of the eight businesses that are housed on the first floor of the building.
“We had so much merchandise damaged,” said Soo Kim, who owns a pharmacy in the building. “Even when it was not a lot, we still had to stop what we were doing and get all the employees to clean rather than fill prescriptions.”
Deutschmann said he contacted the city Department of Environmental Protection every time the building flooded. He said DEP took action sometimes to clear the main sewer under Roosevelt Avenue, but many times he was told the problem was with the building’s sewer.
A DEP spokesman said the first calls the agency received about this location came in the summer of 2010.
“DEP’s inspections found a buildup of improperly disposed of grease in the sewer line, which can cause backups,” he said.