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Queens streets resemble rivers after heavy rain storm causes floods


By Jennifer Bisram

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    NEW YORK (WCBS) — Residents in coastal communities in Queens woke up Saturday to flooded streets and basements.

It is a scene all too familiar, and costly, for local families when high tide and and strong winds push water onshore.

CBS New York spoke with residents who are hoping for a solution.

Streets turned into rivers Saturday. Basements of homes in Howard Beach and Hamilton Beach flooded.

“We go through this all the time. We lost cars. When we know the flood is coming, we start panicking,” Hamilton Beach resident Sandra Smith said.

Businesses took a hit, too.

“It’s a shame that there’s nothing they can do about this. All these businesses in the neighborhood, they struggle every time the tide comes up like this,” Bobby McGuire said.

McGuire owns a medical office. He spent the day pumping water out of his building.

“I’m sure it’s gonna cost me close to $5,000. Pumping water out for two days, loss of business,” McGuire said

Many were stuck in their homes until the water receded, while others used kayaks to get around.

“It’s constant damage because the water comes right up to the structure. So you don’t even know if you’re having structural damage also. Constantly you have to gut your apartment, constantly you lose stuff. My washroom is down there. You lose your washer, your dryer, you lose every content that’s down there. My boiler room is down there, you lose your boiler. So it’s thousands and thousands of dollars when it comes to repairs,” said Tisha Sinclair of Howard Beach.

The rain eventually moved out by Saturday evening, but the wind was still whipping and it was still too soon for others to assess the damage.

“I would say every house was affected by this. Whether it was your home, your vehicle you couldn’t get out to go to the store, the doctor,” said Roger Gendron, president of the New Hamilton Beach Civic Association.

Gendron said he has reached out city, state and federal officials for years to help with the flooding.

“Unfortunately, it has become a way of life. We understand it, but people are really getting frustrated at this point,” Gendron said. “The projects that are out there just get stalled.”

Residents said they do have flood insurance, but it doesn’t cover everything.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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