Away goes trouble, down the drain.
Rampant rains that saturated homes and submerged cars earlier this month expedited plans by the New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Design and Construction (DDC) to complete the installation of a water-distribution system, expected to alleviate flooding in steadily soaked Forest Hills.
The $24 million upgrade targets roadway flooding and added approximately one mile of new sewer lines and half a mile of water mains. The project was funded by the DEP and will be overseen by the DDC.
Paul Pearlman, owner of Emilio’s Ski Shop, said flooding remains a major problem in the area.
“Every time it rains, the water just comes right in,” Pearlman said. “The water gets so backed up it just comes in. Even if it’s just a little rain, it floods.”
The business owner, whose store is located at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 76th Avenue, said his shop’s basement flooded on Saturday, September 8, after the DEP announced the completion of the revamped sewer system.
According to DEP commissioner Carter Strickland, the city agency plans to invest over half a billion dollars into improving the sewer infrastructure in Queens, reducing system overflows, backups and flooding.
“These new roadways, catch basins, and sewers will reduce flooding, improve water delivery, and yield a more attractive streetscape for the residents of Forest Hills,” said Eric MacFarlane, deputy commissioner for infrastructure at the DDC.
The project includes the installation of approximately 1,700 feet of sanitary sewer lines, more than 4,000 feet of storm sewer lines, 55 catch basins and 49 manholes, as well as the replacement of a 2,400-foot section of a water distribution main — fixtures the city believes will increase sewer capacity, reduce flooding and diminish backups.