Southeast Queens lawmakers to host town hall in Arverne to discuss flooding and damages caused by winter storm

Flooding in Howard Beach this morning, Friday, Dec. 23. (Photo courtesy of Steve Koller)

Southeast Queens lawmakers are inviting the public to attend an emergency town hall meeting in Arverne on Thursday, Jan. 5, to discuss the recent winter storm that caused flooding in parts of southeast Queens and the Rockaways.

The town hall will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Goldie Maple Academy, located at 365 Beach 56th St. in Arverne. The event will include federal, state and city agencies to provide an assessment of the flooding and other damage caused by the storm and what actions are being taken to address it in southeast Queens. 

The following government agencies will be participating in the event: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Federal Emergency Management Agency; NYC Emergency Management; NYC Department of Transportation; NYC Department of Design and Construction; NYC Department of Environmental Protection; NYC Department of Sanitation; and the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Services.

The meeting is hosted by Senator James Sanders Jr., Rep. Gregory Meeks, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr., Assembly members Stacey Pheffer Amato and Khaleel Anderson, and City Council members Selvena Brooks-Powers and Joann Ariola. 

“Southeast Queens is the Lower 9th Ward of New York City,” Sanders said, referencing Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. “If it was a little bit colder in New York City during Winter Storm Elliott, southeast Queens would have been another Buffalo disaster — where dozens of people died in blizzard conditions. What are the city’s emergency and evacuation plans for southeast Queens? Like my neighbors, I want to know. We need to have one, otherwise we will become another Buffalo.”

Amid freezing temperatures and gusty wind chills, the bomb cyclone, now known as Winter Storm Elliot, brought heavy rain on the morning of Dec. 23, flooding coastal communities in the southern Queens neighborhoods of Howard Beach, Hamilton Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways. Local elected officials toured the impacted communities and an emergency meeting with city agencies were held to discuss the storm and provide resources and information to residents.