Spring Creek Malfunction Caused Flooding

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

The cause of last month’s massive flooding in Lindenwood was due to a malfunction in one of its facilities, the Dept. of Environmental Protection announced last week.

On April 30, a rainstorm caused flooding in the Lindenwood area that night. The storm brought more than five inches of rain to New York City and damaged basements in many homes in that neighborhood.

Flooding that occurred in Lindenwood on April 30 was due to an error in the Spring Creek facility’s system. Rather than diverting excess water to Jamaica Bay, it sent it to Lindenwood and parts of Brooklyn. Photo by Luis Gronda

Flooding that occurred in Lindenwood on April 30 was due to an error in the Spring Creek facility’s system. Rather than diverting excess water to Jamaica Bay, it sent it to Lindenwood and parts of Brooklyn. Photo by Luis Gronda

According to the DEP, the flooding occurred because the Spring Creek facility in nearby East New York did not function the way it was supposed to.

The agency’s investigation concluded that it rained more than the Spring Creek facility could handle, causing it to overflow.

“The April 30 storm produced so much rain that it exceeded the capacity of the 26th Ward and Jamaica Wastewater Treatment Plants, and the Spring Creek facility also reached its storage limit late that evening. When the tanks at Spring Creek can no longer accept more flow, the system is designed to release excess water directly into Jamaica Bay. This untreated wastewater is called combined sewer overflow,” the agency wrote in its statement.

They added that the facility was recently upgraded but it did not work properly. It did not release the excess water into Jamaica Bay, instead, sending it to Lindenwood and parts of East New York adjacent to that area.

Two of the elected officials representing the area weighed in on the DEP’s conclusion on the flooding.

“I applaud DEP and Commissioner Lloyd for admitting their mistakes and finally taking the necessary actions to keep our families safe,” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D- Ozone Park) said in a statement. “It’s unfortunate that it took another major storm to demonstrate the need for stronger sewer infrastructure, but our Howard Beach and Lindenwood families will be reimbursed by the City and I will work to ensure that we never have to suffer through another painful recovery.”

State Sen. Joe Addabbo (D- Howard Beach) said it is only the beginning to figuring out a long-term solution to the problem.

“I still have residents living in fear of rainfall and that’s not right,” he said.

Residents affected by the flooding have until July 29 to fill out a form to the Comptroller’s office, seeking reimbursement for the damages.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.