Drowning in a puddle of woe - Clarendon Road residents are awash after heavy rain

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The recent re-paving of Clarendon Road by the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) may have made a long-standing ponding problem worse.

Tanima Lee, who has lived at Clarendon Road near Schenectady Avenue for the past 17 years, said that what had previously been a large puddle after rainstorms at the foot of her driveway now goes up the driveway.

“Since I’ve been here, it’s gone from being a little problem – a little puddle at the end of the driveway – to a big problem,” Lee told this paper. “The water sits here, due to anything – rain, snow, someone washing a car. We literally have to go and push the water out.

“When it gets really bad, you can’t even walk,” Lee went on. “And, at the point when it dries up, all the chip bags and soda cans that found their way to the puddle sit there, and then the Department of Sanitation comes and tickets us because the sidewalk is dirty.”

Assemblymember Nick Perry, who represents the area, said that the problem has been “brought to the attention” of both the Department of Environmental Protection and DOT.

“Having inspected the location myself,” Perry noted, “my conclusion as a layman is that the ponding is caused by the grading of the road, which is exacerbated by the sidewalk having been sinking or receding. It’s a situation I think the city need to take a look at, and come up with some program to assist the homeowners.

“The ponding at that particular location,” Perry pointed out, “could be addressed by applying some common sense to the grading. I thought the city would have done that when the milled and resurfaced the street several weeks ago, but they seem to have done so without paying any attention to the condition of the street.”

The intersection of Clarendon and Schenectady is hardly the only place in East Flatbush where there are issues with standing water, Perry added. Others include East 45th Street, between Clarendon Road and Avenue D, and along Albany Avenue, between Foster Avenue and Farragut Road, next to Public School 198.

The locations that had been reported to him, he said, “Have been reported to DOT. I have had meetings with DOT regarding the complaints and I have requested that they assist the community in resolving them. In some cases, there’s a need for installing a sewer to alleviate the problem. In others, the ponding is the result of bad work by resurfacing crews that don’t pay any attention to the grade of the road when they do the work.”

One issue, Perry stressed, is that the standing water that results from the ponding, is, “An ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes that can carry the West Nile virus, so they are exposing the community to a serious health danger that should put the problem at the top of the city’s concerns, since we spend so much money spraying for the mosquitoes.”

But, he added, “The city seems nonchalant about dealing with the problem.” While, Perry said, the city plans on installing a sewer on East 40th Street, between Farragut and Glenwood Roads, to deal with ponding there, “The rate they go about fixing these problems I think is extraordinarily slow.”

By press time, DOT had not responded to a request for comment.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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