Councilman Mathieu Eugene & Neighbors Urge DEP To Address Flooding In Our Community

Councilman Eugene, representatives from the city DEP and neighbors met Wednesday to discuss problems with flooding. Photo courtesy of Councilman Mathieu Eugene's office.
Councilman Eugene, representatives from the city DEP and neighbors met Wednesday to discuss problems with flooding. Photo courtesy of Councilman Mathieu Eugene’s office.

Following years of problems with flooding in our area, Councilman Mathieu Eugene and neighbors told the city Department of Environmental Protection this week that change must come to our waterlogged streets and homes.

Eugene organized a meeting on Wednesday, August 12, when Tom Marrama, the DEP’s Borough Manager of Water and Sewer Operations, and Mario Bruno, the Assistant Commissioner of Intergovernmental Affairs, met with the legislator and residents on E.10th Street, between Caton and Church Avenues — an area that has been particularly hard hit by flooding.

“There is no reason residents should suffer from devastating flooding after even minor rainstorms,” Eugene said in a press release. “I have met with residents, examined areas that have received complaints, tracked complaints, surveyed residents to find the most problematic areas, and been in contact with the DEP to see what we can do to fix this problem. I will continue working hard to make sure that our neighbors don’t have to live in fear every time it rains.”

In addition to problems on E.10th Street, Eugene gave the DEP a list of places throughout his district — including in the spot around  PS 139 and Ditmas and Westminster — that regularly experience flooding.

Flooding on Caton and Coney Island Avenues. Photo by Ditmas Park Corner
Flooding on Caton and Coney Island Avenues. Photo by Ditmas Park Corner

DEP representatives encouraged neighbors to continue to report flooding problems by calling 311, or by making a complaint online. Even if you have already registered a complaint about a specific location, the DEP officials said residents should continue to log the concerns each time flooding occurs.

“Encourage your neighbors to call because believe me when I tell you 311 complaint data — we get sewer backups or whatever and that goes right to Mr. Marrama and his people,” Bruno said in a press release.

We have also reached out to Eugene’s office and the DEP for further information about any specific plans to address the flooding and will update this as soon as we hear back from them.

Eugene said he will continue to work on until this issue until is resolved.

“No one deserves to have pools of stagnant water, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria, near his or her home or school,” he said. “This is a safety and health issue and it must not be ignored.”

In addition to calling 311, you can reach Eugene about problems you have with flooding by emailing or by calling 718-287-8762.

We’d also like to hear where you think the biggest problems with flooding are in our neighborhood –let us know in the comments below.

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Anna Gustafson

Editor of Ditmas Park Corner


  1. The reasons for the flooding are cause and effect. So what are the causes. It all starts with the rain making a clean sweep of our streets and all the subsequent debris flows towards the sewer gratings. The debris comes from littering, gardeners blowing grass clippings into the street, leaves, twigs, branches, bark, tree seeds, etc. all clogging the sewer grating resulting in prohibiting the flow of water into the sewer. When the mechanical street sweeper comes along, it pushes the debris into the holes of the grating and clogs up the holes in the grating. Quite obviously and logically it is the size of the sewer gratings that is where the problem needs to be resolved and addressed. Additionally,parked cars often stop debris from flowing freeing as the debris accumulates by the tires and the gutter. The choices are
    either 1) have bigger wholes in the gratings which allow for the free flow of debris into the sewer or 2) to have a smaller weaved like screen grating attachment that can be affixed on top of the original grating or 3) A more costly and thorough method would be to mimic the gutters that are on the sides of the roofs of private houses. That would mean to carve out 2 inch deep channels by the curb, putting on top of it a mesh grating that would keep the debris out of the channel and allow the water to drip into the channel below the surface of the curb and allow water to flow freely into the sewer. Choice number 3 is the best choice.
    Any attachment would have to be indestructible from the mechanical street sweeper machinations. I had previously seen a neighbor diligently attach plastic gutter guard nettings to sewers at all corners and simply by pushing the debris aside water flowed freely into the sewer and no water was left standing. This method worked beautifully
    I hope someone is listening and will diligently consider such a solution and any
    improvements thereof. I hope I have “whetted” the appetite for solving the flooding problems for those of us who are “wet behind the ears” with seeing no solutions at hand.

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