Howard Beach residents prepare for repeat flooding

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LINDENWOOD, QUEENS (PIX11) — State Senator Joe Addabbo is all too familiar with what recent rainfalls have done to some neighborhoods in his district.

“Every time there is a rainfall, no matter how mild, these residents live in fear and that’s a problem,” he told PIX11.

Friday, Addabbo was primarily spoke about those living near the intersection of 156th Avenue and 79th Street and whether or not the neighborhood would turn into a quagmire once again with Friday night’s rainfall.

“On the April 30th storm we were hip deep in water,” Addabbo said as he lowered his hand by his hip.


Howard Beach experienced extreme flooding during April showers.

Jose Luis and Angel were two of the busiest people PIX 11 News came across in the neighborhood.  The two workers were building a frame to hold a wide piece of plywood and cover an exposed area to prevent the hole from becoming larger.

About a block away, Italo Mazzeo was concerned with the drain behind his yard.  It has been clogged up a few feet high by tree branches, which Mazzeo says accelerates the flooding.  As a result, he decided to take preventative measures by building a short wall.

“Yeah, I’m not a bricklayer but a you know I make a do. Who am I going to get in a short notice,” he said.  The reason for the makeshift wall is simple: “I’m afraid I’m going to get flooded again.”

Howard Beach residents

Howard Beach residents worry about their properties during repeat flooding.

The 72-year-old doing everything possible to stay dry, including placing a pump, because it’s not only his rental property but, “my pension, retirement.”  In a matter of seconds, Mazzeo became emotional and added, “Right I could cry, but what are you going to do?”

As for a solution?  Addabbo says there are two options: “I think there is a simple solution and a complicated solution.  The simple solution may be to just cleaning out some of the catch basins and the sewer lines.  A more complicated solution may be a project that looks at this area, raise some streets and sidewalks, but it’s a long-term solution, but we need an immediate solution.”