Fresh Meadows residents once again had to deal with flooded streets Monday, after a water main break just off Utopia Parkway caused water to rush down side streets and a portion of the intersection of 184th Street and 54th Avenue to collapse, the Office of Emergency Management and the city Department of Environmental Protection said.
The break, which occurred shortly after 6 a.m. Monday morning, left about a dozen homes on 184th Street between 55th and 56th avenues without water, and an OEM official said water was restored by Monday afternoon. OEM officials also said the 8−inch water main and the road was fixed by rush hour.
“Several families have been affected by this, and it’s difficult to start the work week and the school week without any running water,” City Council member John Liu (D−Flushing) said in a prepared statement. “City agencies led by OEM and DEP are working quickly and coordinating closely to make the repairs and restore the neighborhood to normal conditions.”
The cause of the break was unknown, according to DEP officials.
According to a statement issued by the OEM, no residences had sustained flooding — a relief for Norma Chin, who said she “prays every time it rains that my basement won’t flood.”
“When I woke up this morning, I heard all this noise outside,” said Chin, who lives on 54th Avenue just next to the portion of the caved−in road. “I looked outside and I saw what looked like a river. The water was carrying all this trash down 184th Street.”
For people living in the area, which is just north of the Long Island Expressway service road and about one block east of Utopia Parkway, the flooding woes were nothing new.
“I’ve been living here for four years, and for the first two years everything was fine — no flooding,” Chin said. “But then in the third year our basement flooded twice. This year our basement, which is finished, has flooded once. The water comes all the way up to my knees. My neighbors have problems with flooding, too. It’s a big problem here.”
Community Board 8 District Manager Marie Adam−Ovide said flooding has been a “major issue” in the area, particularly around Utopia Parkway.
Community board members are hoping the city funds some of their capital budget priorities, including rehabilitating sewers, catch basins and water mains to mitigate the flooding problems that residents say have made it nearly impossible to drive down Utopia Parkway in a heavy rainstorm.
©2008 Community News Group
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