PROSPECT PARK SOUTH, Brooklyn (PIX11) — It’s the largest lake in Brooklyn, at 60 acres of surface area, normally. On Friday, though, Prospect Park Lake spread to about a third of a mile, after all-day rains caused the lake to overflow its banks into surrounding streets and avenues, and into hundreds of homes.
On East 10th Street, virtually every home had hoses extended from their basements into the street, trying to pump out water. However, with the street and sidewalks underwater, the efforts were largely in vain.
Marilyn John waded through storm water that covered all of the floors in the finished basement of her townhouse.
“This is the worst” said the pastor, who also said that she’s owned her home for 30 years, and that it’s flooded before.
“This is the worst,” she repeated. “We’ve had floods and that kind of stuff, but not where it’s coming from every side,” the way it did on Friday, she said.
The rain, and its flooding, were so intense that Danielle Perez, a kindergarten teacher, was back home at midday, pumping out her home.
“My administration wasn’t expecting this kind of rain,” she said about her school in Downtown Brooklyn. “We closed school, and kids were picked up. I think it took all of us by surprise.”
Her school was among multiple schools citywide that closed, either fully or in part, because of flooding.
That heavy rain also shut down sections of the Prospect Expressway and the Belt Parkway when they flooded on Friday morning.
Part of the problem was drainage. Water was flowing so fast that the sewer and catch basin system couldn’t keep up.
That was definitely the case in Prospect Park South, where places like Stratford Road were shut down by police because the floodwaters were so deep.
Matt Marcello, who lives on Stratford Road, was using a push broom to clear out drains on the roadside. They were working, but not well enough to keep up with the flow of water coming from the lake a quarter of a mile away.
Marcello said the infrastructure that’s more than a century old is part of the problem.
“If we get two inches of rain in the course of an hour,” he said, “we get catastrophic flooding.”
That’s what they got on Friday, with more rainfall forecast for the weekend.