Today’s news:

Better Late than Never

For decades southeast Queens residents have suffered from flooding every time there was a heavy rain. The waters flooded basements and came gushing back through toilets when inadequate sewers were overwhelmed. Community leaders and local politicians ranted, but year after year the problem was ignored.

Now it appears help may be on the way. Last week Mayor Michael Bloomberg, joined at a press conference by Gov. David Paterson, announced the city will spend nearly $45 million to fix the problem.

The funds will be used to upgrade water mains and sewer systems. Bloomberg said, “We’ll extend storm sewers into areas that have long suffered from stormwater flooding and replace water mains and sanitary sewers.”

The money that will speed up some projects by as much as five years will come from $220 million in federal stimulus money the city has been allotted for infrastructure projects. It remains unclear why it took the city this long to respond to this problem. This part of Queens is flood-prone because of a high water table.

One Jamaica homeowner told a reporter his basement floods every time there is heavy rain. Anyone who has experienced that kind of flooding knows what a smelly, costly mess it can be.

Imagine dealing with this every time there is a storm.

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