Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley met with the Department of Environmental Protection on Friday, Sept. 14, to address the issue, specifically in areas around the Cooper Avenue underpass.
Recent storms on August 15 and September 8 also caused backups in residents' homes and flooding along the underpass. Crowley asked for an investigation and infrastructure improvements in the area.
“It is clear that the system in Glendale and parts of Middle Village are not prepared to handle heavy rainfall, which has caused thousands of dollars in damage to residents throughout my district,” said Crowley in a press release.
Crowley also spoke at Community Board 5 at Christ the King High School regarding the issue on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Several other board members spoke about problems with sewer infrastructure and flooding in the area.
Middle Village resident Anthony Borello said the same issues regarding flooding have seemed to persist throughout the years.
“I live on Gray Street and my neighbors all suffer from the same thing,” Borello said, who added that Penelope Avenue and 74th Street were also areas that had been hit hard by flooding. “This isn't a new issue and it needs to be prioritized.”
DEP spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla said in an email that on Saturday, Sept. 8, the area around the Cooper Avenue underpass received the equivalent of more than two inches of rain in an hour. Although Padilla wrote that DEP's pumping system functioned at full capacity throughout the storm, it became overwhelmed and took some time to pump out all the water.
Padilla added that since 2002, DEP has invested more than $600 million in capital sewer upgrades in Queens and 217 separate capital sewer projects for Queens either under construction or in the design and planning phase, with a $612 million commitment for the next 10 years.
As a result of Friday’s meeting with Crowley, DEP has agreed to conduct a thorough investigation of the trouble spots in Glendale and report back to the community.