State Senator James Sanders Jr. will lead a community conversation Sunday on the Nov. 30 raw sewage flooding of hundreds of homes in South Ozone Park which was the result of a blocked sewage pipe.
Sanders will be joined by Councilwoman Adrienne Adams, Assemblywoman Vivian Cook and City Comptroller Scott Stringer and they will provide updates on the cleanup and recovery efforts. Government agencies will be on hand to lend support to help homeowners who experienced damages.
“This is a terrible and unfortunate incident to have happened, especially around the holidays,” Sanders said. “My office will be working with the city and all the appropriate agencies to help affected homeowners recover and resume their busy lives.”
The cause of the blockage is still unknown and the investigation continues. Residents impacted by the flooding should file a claim with their insurance company and the Comptroller’s Office to cover any damage from the raw sewage.
The community meeting will be held Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. at P.S. 223, the Lyndon B. Johnson School located at 125-20 Sutphin Blvd. in Jamaica.
Meanwhile, the City Council will demand answers about the crisis from city officials during a Committee of Environmental Protection oversight hearing on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 10 a.m.
“It is outrageous that so many South Ozone Park residents were displaced and suffered property damage when their homes were flooded by sewage just after the holiday,” Councilwoman Adrienne Adams said. “Apologies will not make these residents whole. It is imperative that we get answers from the Department of Environmental Protection for the residents of southeast Queens that are still struggling.”
Adams was particularly outraged by the DEP’s theory that the residents of South Ozone Park were to blame for pouring grease from Thanksgiving down their drains, tweeting that was “insulting and disingenuous,” and that the “DEP must own up to their own negligence.”
“Instead of enjoying a quiet holiday weekend, hundreds of Queens residents dealt with an unhealthy flood that destroyed their belongings and damaged their homes,” Councilman Costa Constantinides, the committee chairman, said. “We deserve answers as to what caused this mess as well as why the city initially responded in an unclear manor that seemed to blame the community. I stand with my colleague, Adrienne Adams, in getting to the bottom of this.”