BY JON CRONIN
For the second time in the past three weeks Howard Beach, especially in the Hamilton Beach section, has received flooding rivaling Hurricane Sandy’s.
Roger Gendron, president of the New Hamilton Beach Civic Association, said because of the snow storm, on Sunday night, the New Moon on Monday and consistent sustaining northeast winds pushing water into the coast the water table has risen. Gendron reported approximately four feet of water on some streets
Because of all these factors, “the tide doesn’t necessarily go down as low as it normally would, then you have high tide on top of that,” he said.
Three weeks ago the area flooded, Gendron said then it was highest it had been since Sandy.
“Now this is the highest since Sandy,” he said.
“If there was an emergency today, a EMS vehicle could not make it in. My block [Davenport Road] was filled to the firehouse,” Gendron said.
He said on Monday that he was on the phone with a representative from the Office of Emergency Management and they said, unfortunately, there isn’t much they could do.
In the late evening on Monday, Gendron said the water was pouring in from 163rd Road to Davenport Court, and drains from there into the canal.
“You can’t walk out unless you have boots,” said Gendron, “We all have our own set of weighters.” His house, which is scheduled for destruction by Build-It-Back after damage in Sandy, was flooded on the first floor.
He said that on Monday morning, a car stalled on 104th Street, the driver abandoned the car and when an MTA bus was driving down the street, it “just squeaked by.” He had to call 311 to have it towed.
What to do about the chronic flooding in the bay front community has become a hot topic.
One of Gendron’s ideas to have the flood subside quicker was to get a Sanitation truck that cleans the storm drains and use it to drain water from the street into the canal. “I don’t know if that would work. I’m thinking out of the box,” he said.
Meteorologists predicted Coastal Flood Warnings along the east coast all the way up to Massachusetts through Wednesday.
In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was responding to the flooding problem, which was an issue this week in coastal areas across the city including the Rockaways, South Brooklyn and Staten Island.
“This morning, coastal areas in our city experienced flooding during the high tide. From clearing storm drains to salting roads that could turn icy, we’re taking all necessary steps to respond to the impacts of this flooding. We are also taking the long-term steps needed to protect our coastal areas through our $20 billion investment in climate resiliency,” de Blasio said in the statement Tuesday.
De Blasio said the city Department of Environmental Protection would be in flood zones keeping catch basins clear and the Sanitation Department would continue to salt flooded roads to keep them from icing up as temperatures dropped below freezing.
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) said, “My office is continuing to monitor conditions in the community as floodwaters recede. I have been in constant communication with Emergency Management officials to assess the extent of damage and provide up-to-date information to families as they begin to recover.”
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, email@example.com or @JonathanSCronin