When strong storms hit the city early Wednesday afternoon, it caused flooding across Queens and Brooklyn, with the hardest hit areas including Austin Street in Forest Hills, Cooper Avenue in Glendale, and Palmetto Street in Bushwick.
In Glendale, three people almost died when a car became trapped in rising water. Let us repeat that: They almost died.
While no government should necessarily be held accountable for acts of nature, a summer afternoon thunderstorm also shouldn’t create havoc and mayhem and put lives in danger.
That is unacceptable.
But that is what continues to happen in Queens and Brooklyn whenever the city experiences a strong storm. There has to be a way to solve this issue.
Every year, it seems, the city hikes the water rates for home and business owners. But instead of investing that money back into the system, the city uses it to cover budget shortfalls.
In other words, the money we all paid to the city all these years that should have been reinvested back into water and sewer infrastructure was instead spent in other areas.
Now that bill is coming due.
The problem is that the issue at this point seems overwhelming. We realize that the city has been doing more to address flooding over the past few years, but it’s nearly impossible for it to keep up.
The issue of flooding needs to be top priority for this administration and the next mayor of New York City, and residents of Queens and Brooklyn, along with the local press, should make it a big issue in the next year’s elections.