In Dyker Heights, there is an ongoing battle between residents and the flooding and sewage backing up into their basements every time it rains. Why? At the turn of the century, New York City began updating the sewer system, but it never finished the job, The Brooklyn Paper reports.
Electeds held a press conference in Dyker Heights on September 27, to publically ask the City’s Department of Environmental Protection to renovate the outdated sewer south of 77th Street.
State Senator Andrew Gounardes, Councilmember Justin Brannan, Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann and congressional candidate Max Rose initiated the event.
“A forecast of rain shouldn’t bring panic to Brooklynites – but for community members on 10th Avenue, that has been the case for over 20 years,” Gounardes said in a statement.
“It’s unacceptable. Tenth Avenue residents have been waiting for DEP to replace the hundred-year-old sewer system in Dyker Heights for over two decades now, and enough is enough.”
The department started to fix the sewer system along 10th Avenue two decades ago but stopped before 77th Street. Even the lightest drizzle is causing sewage backups and four-foot floods, Gournades’ said.
"How does it not break your heart that my neighbor, an 80-year-old woman, has to go down to her own basement to bail out waist-high water," Brad Hennessy, a 10th Avenue resident, said.
According to a DEP spokesperson, the original upgrade to the 10th Avenue sewer lines was completed a year ago but with more storms coming to the city, they will be working to expand their current system.
“Climate change is bringing more intense storms to NYC that can overwhelm the capacity of the sewer system, and in many cases, the sewers cannot be built any larger than they already are," the DEP spokesperson said.