Howard Beach residents: Wednesday’s freak storm made Sandy look like ‘walk in the park’

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HOWARD BEACH, N.Y. (PIX11) — Like many Howard Beach residents, Gina Oddo is still trying to make sense of the waist high waters that wreaked havoc inside her home Wednesday night.

“The water pressure was so high it knocked me over,” Oddo told PIX11 News has she fought back tears. “I couldn’t do anything. I was trying my best to save stuff but nothing.”

“All the sentimental things were ruined, I had to throw out.”

Just a few houses over along 80th St., the story was pretty much of the same.

“This were floating and on their sides I thought I was in the Titanic I really did,” homeowner Chris McBride said.

According to residents, the excess rain in addition to a surge from backed up sewer drains proved to be a formula for disaster.

After heavy rain, many Howard Beach residents flooded out of homes

“At dead low tide this stuff shouldn’t happen but at 6 p.m. last night the water was backed up and instead of going into Jamaica bay, it went back into our homes,” Daniel Golom said.

Golom was one of many who spent a good part of Thursday draining out their basements and low-level apartments.

The Department of Environmental Protection was on the ground trying to assess the situation. It remains unclear as to what caused the flooding that frustrated homeowners say they’ve never seen in all their years here.

“This is not the first time, we have called DEP a couple of times,” Dania Solis said outside her 80th Street home that suffered extensive damage to its basement.

“Two or three weeks ago it rained a lot and we called them and nothing. I don’t know what’s the problem.”

Residents are being urged to call 311 to file claims for damaged property.

A spokesperson for DEP told PIX11 News the agency hasn’t determined whether backed up drains are to blame for the excessive flooding.

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