City Councilman Chaim Deutsch is urging federal and state agencies to pick up the pace on planned resiliency measures after an unusually strong high tide flooded parts of Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay this morning.
“I’ve never seen anything like this since Superstorm Sandy,” Deutsch said. “We need to make sure our federal government, FEMA, and our state government ensure that these [resiliency measures] are put in place sooner rather than later. There needs to be a greater urgency.”
Deutsch said the high tide appeared to have overwhelmed the sewer system, causing water to spring up through storm drains. Streets near Kingsborough Community College, P.S. 195, and East 11th Street turned into creeks when the water rose as high as the curbs, Deutsch said.
The councilman’s office received no reports of water spilling into people’s homes. However, Deutsch said the high tide demonstrated that proposed resiliency measures — intended to defend against another 100-year storm — must be put in place immediately to keep out less severe floodwaters.
“We need to make sure that our waterfront is protected. We need to get the work done as soon as possible,” he said.
As we’ve previously reported, neighbors have grown frustrated with the slow pace of resiliency efforts — particularly a state initiative to introduce low-cost, common sense measures that would address even minor flooding.
Deutsch said he has requested a meeting with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), The Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). He wants to see bioswales and sewer cut-off valves installed in the area. Both proposals were included in Governor’s NY Rising initiative, but the project has been slow getting off the ground.
He is also requesting new buildings have water retention basins, which would reduce the burden on sewers during flooding.
Deutsch said OEM will be monitoring the neighborhood when the next high tides arrive tonight at after 7:30pm and tomorrow at around 8:45pm. He urged residents not to park their cars on streets near the bay and to contact his office to report any flooding during the next tides.
You can reach Deutsch’s office at 718-368-9176 or firstname.lastname@example.org.