Congressman requests Biden administration fund storm risk study in Howard Beach

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries requested the Biden administration fund a feasibility study for hurricane damage in Howard Beach that was hammered during Superstorm Sandy. (QNS file photo)

With the Atlantic Hurricane Season currently underway, from June 1 through Nov. 30, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries recently sent a letter requesting the Biden administration to fund a feasibility study for ecosystem restoration as well as hurricane and storm damage risk reduction for Spring Creek South and Howard Beach in the federal budget.

Jeffries, whose Brooklyn district encompasses a portion of south Queens, secured a directive in the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 to expedite the completion of the research.

“The study will recommend a comprehensive, integrated solution to provide the community with a resilient and environmentally sustainable shoreline, providing long-needed storm risk management benefits and restoring critical habitat,” Jeffries wrote in a letter to the office of Management and Budget Acting Director Shalanda Young. “The residents and businesses of Howard Beach need assistance, and this feasibility study represents an opportunity to deliver on our promise to build back better for the American people.”

Southern Queens, and large portions of New York City, was severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. The storm killed more than 280 people in the Northeast and caused more than $70 billion in damage, making it one of the costliest natural disasters in United States history.

It took years for Howard Beach to recover and the community continues to face flooding from Jamaica Bay, through Hawtree and Shellbank Basins, during both major and minor storms.

“Congressman Jeffries’ request to fund a feasibility study for projects in Jamaica Bay and Howard Beach are vital to the safety and protection of our communities for current and future generations,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said. “We are at such a precarious moment, with sea levels rising and storm season rapidly approaching, that we urgently need to explore every possible option to protect our communities from the devastating impacts of extreme weather events.”

When Sandy struck, a storm surge of 7 to 10 feet inundated the streets and homes of Howard Beach causing millions in property damage. It took more than three weeks for power to be restored to the neighborhood along with other low-lying areas along Jamaica Bay.

“The Congressman has been a strong leader on this issue and has listened to the many voices in our community,” Pheffer Amato said. “I look forward to continuing to partner with his office and advocate for these issues, and I want to thank him for this request to the Biden administration.”