NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City’s comptroller’s office shot down the thousands of people who filed financial claims against the city in the wake of Hurricane Ida.
Historic flooding from the drenching downpours destroyed the homes of many in 2021. In the aftermath, 4,703 people filed complaints with the city because of the flooding, as first reported by THE CITY. Each complaint was denied, a spokesperson for Comptroller Brad Lander’s office said. Letters went out to New Yorkers explaining that New York is not legally responsible.
“For over a century, courts have held that municipalities across the state of New York, including the City of New York, are not liable for damage from ‘extraordinary and excessive rainfalls,'” Lander wrote to New Yorkers in the denial letter. “Where damage is caused by negligent action or omission on the part of the City of New York, the City may be liable; however, that was not the case here.”
Ida dumped as many as 9 inches of rain in parts of New York City on the night of Sept. 1, 2021, according to the Department of Environmental Protection. In just one hour, 3.15 inches of rain fell in Central Park, breaking a record.
“As a result, the City of New York is not responsible for losses arising from Hurricane Ida, and your claim must be denied,” Lander wrote.
New Yorkers whose claims were denied can sue the city at any point within 1 year and 90 days of Ida, according to his office. That gives people until late November 2022.
Congresswoman Grace Meng, who represents parts of Queens hit hard by Ida, suggested New York City and the state use federal money to fix sewer infrastructure.
“New Yorkers experience flooded homes even without ‘excessive rain,'” she tweeted. “My constituents, including the families of those who died, don’t have time for this blame game.”