Community Leaders Request Action and Funding to Alleviate Flooding in Boro Park
By Yehudit Garmaise
After torrential rains once again flooded the streets of Boro Park yesterday, residents are wondering when New York City is going to repair the neighborhood’s drainage system.
In response, State. Sen. Simcha Felder, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, and City Councilman Kalman Yeger are together writing a letter again requesting the help of Vincent Sapienza, the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the commissioner of the Department of Transportation, who was Polly Trottenberg, but she has announced her departure and someone else might be already acting in her place, Sen. Felder said today.
“The reason most of these places have a problem is because the work the city has done in either re-paving the streets and repairing the sidewalks has been horrible: shoddy work,” Sen. Felder told Boro Park 24. “The streets are supposed to be paved so that they are pitched at a curve, or at such an angle that water can run off and cannot easily gather and stay in one spot.
In addition to fixing the curve of the sidewalks and streets, Sen. Felder said that although every corner does not have a sewer, even the corners that do have sewers flood because “they haven’t been cleaned out in years.”
To remedy the problem, Sen. Felder said that he has to repeatedly and continually call the DEP and the DOT to pester them to alleviate the flooding problems in the area.
“It is unacceptable that every time it rains, our streets get flooded,” tweeted Community Board 12 District Manager Barry Spitzer, who said that he has also asked DEP to clean the entire drain system in the area. “This is an ongoing problem in our district and elsewhere in the city.”
Spitzer pointed out that The NYC DEP is not exactly living up to its Twitter profile, which proclaims, "We are New York City Environmental Protection: We make sure everything flows according to plan."
“The DEP are the experts, and they are going to have to do something to clear out these drains,” said Spitzer, who told BoroPark24 that Community Board 12 has asked in its “District Needs Statement,” the budget requests that every District creates for the upcoming fiscal year, for the funds to clean all the drains in our district.
Every time it rains, it floods, and we need to fix it,” Spitzer said. “The drainage system is clogged, mostly with garbage that flows into the catch basin and blocks it.
“Whatever it is that is blocking the drains need to be cleared out.”
Although Spitzer said that he has not yet heard a response to his District Needs Statement, which he submits annually, he expects to hear back soon. “We usually get answers back pretty fast: within a matter of weeks,” Spitzer said.
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