Fresh Meadows residents flooded out in rainstorm

Fresh Meadows residents flooded out in rainstorm
By Karen Frantz

Torrential rain caused major flooding in several areas of Fresh Meadows Wednesday, with several cars getting stuck in swelling water and many people reporting flooded basements.

The Fire Department said it responded to multiple calls of stuck vehicles at 164th Street and 71st Avenue as well as the Long Island Expressway and Grand Central Parkway at Jewel Avenue. It said that there were no reported injuries.

An official with the Department of Environmental Protection said that the sewer system was overwhelmed because of the intensity of the storm, causing water to fill into the streets.

The National Weather Service estimated that 2.5 inches of rain fell between Forest Hills and Jamaica.

“Yesterday was a disaster,” said Avi Koren, 44, who lives on the corner of Jewel Street and 164th Street and whose basement was flooded with four inches of water from the storm.

He said he and his brother spent several hours bailing out his basement and there was damage to the wall panels and some valuable artwork.

He said when he looked outside, “the whole thing was water; everything was water.”

He said he saw cars stuck on the intersection of 164th Street and 71st Avenue in water that reached all the way to the roofs. Fire trucks and ambulances surrounded the area, blocking off the roads, he said.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4538.