Image courtesy of Anthony Russo
Flooding on Edsall Avenue in Glendale during a rain storm.

Whenever it rains, no matter how much falls, a section of Edsall Avenue in Glendale between 71st Place and 73rd Place becomes flooded, and sometimes the puddles stay for several days.

Residents have complained about the flooding to Community Board 5 and various city agencies for years, according to Middle Village resident Anthony Russo, and heavy rainfall in February led to renewed conversations in Glendale groups on Facebook about the overlooked street.

“It has been flooding for the last 20 years and nothing ever gets done there,” Russo said in a message to the Ridgewood Times.

The problem, according to Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano, is that there is no short-term fix for the flooding that the Department of Transportation (DOT) is willing to undertake. Giordano said he had representatives from the DOT and Department of Environmental Preservation (DEP) come to the site, and Assemblyman Mike Miller organized a visit as well.

The DEP told Giordano that there is no sewer along Edsall Avenue, therefore there is only one catch basin on the stretch from 73rd Place to 71st Place. A complete reconstruction of the road would be the best solution, Giordano said, and simply resurfacing the road might not help.

“I think the reason that the Department of Transportation hasn’t wanted to resurface that street is because they worry about the fact that it will push the stormwater at the people’s houses that front on Edsall Avenue,” Giordano said.

Board 5 currently has the Edsall Avenue flooding issue ranked ninth on its list of 36 budget requests for the fiscal year 2019. Giordano said that the response received in the mayor’s preliminary budget is that “Capital funding restraints, project capacity and citywide priorities preclude this project at this time.”

The issue is on Councilman Robert Holden’s radar as well, and he said he is working with the DEP to come up with a solution.

“Earlier this week, a representative with DEP informed us that it will be sending the Bureau of Water and Sewer Operations to investigate the best way to stop the flooding,” Holden said in an emailed statement. “We’ve been following up with the issue and will continue to work with DEP until the problem is resolved.”

Meanwhile in southeast Queens, where a similar problem is much more widespread, a $21.8 million project in St. Albans is underway to bring relief to a flood-prone area along Lucas Street.

More than three-quarters of a mile of new storm sewers were installed alongside older storm sewers to expand the drainage capacity in the area. Twenty-one new catch basins were installed and an additional 38 were replaced along the length of the project area.

Funded by the DEP, the project is part of the city’s $1.9 billion effort to reduce flooding and upgrade infrastructure in southeast Queens over the next 10 years.

“This project is just the beginning of the mayor’s historic commitment to reducing flooding and improving the quality of life in southeast Queens,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza in a press release.

The project is on track to be completed three months ahead of schedule by the Department of Design and Construction. For local residents, the project is a welcomed relief.

“For far too long, we had to deal with flooding of streets any time there was heavy rain,” said local resident Caswell Rodney in the press release. “Now, the streets are clear during heavy periods of rain. I look forward to what’s to come with future projects.”


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