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‘It’s getting worse and worse’: Water drainage issues causing rampant flooding in Bayside

Jul. 26, 2023 By Ethan Marshall

Residents living along 215th Place and 216th Street in Bayside have frequently been impacted by flooding in recent years from rainstorms. On July 20, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) came to examine the water drainage system and see how they can improve it immediately.


Photo courtesy of PyroSignal and Suppression, Inc.

Local resident Chuba Varga told QNS the area has gotten to the point that it doesn’t even need to rain hard for the end of the block, which also marks the lowest point, to become flooded. The sewer system there isn’t taking in enough stormwater to keep up with the rainfall, according to Varga, who has lived in that area for approximately 20 years.


Photo by Ethan Marshall

“I rent at the building at the end of the block and my driveway is constantly getting flooded,” Varga said. “On July 16, it didn’t even rain that hard, but I had flooding then as well. Now I have sandbags around the driveway so that the water does not go down there.”


Photo by Ethan Marshall

A DEP spokesperson told QNS that their inspection of the area included looking at the catch basins and looking into the sewer under the roadway via a video camera. While there were not any blockages discovered, DEP did clean debris from the catch basins.


Photo by Ethan Marshall

“If [residents in the area] can’t remove the trash/debris themselves [from the catch basins], they can report it to 311 and a crew will be dispatched to do it,” the DEP spokesperson said. “The drainage infrastructure (catch basins and sewers) on these streets is scheduled for a more thorough evaluation by our engineers in the coming weeks.”

Varga is hopeful that the future evaluation will lead to DEP adding larger piping to the sewer system. He believes the current piping isn’t big enough to be capable of effectively draining water in the area. He would also like to see additional drainage systems added in the near future.

“It’s getting worse and worse every year now,” Varga said. “Last year, my garage was flooded and got six inches of water. Two years ago, I got six inches of water. And I would’ve had six inches July 16 if I hadn’t had the sandbags out.”

According to Varga, the main drainage pipe on his block is approximately 18 inches in length, while the main one located two blocks away is 54 inches. While he’s not asking for the same length, he would like to see the one on his block be replaced with a larger size.

“It’s like we have a curse on our block,” Varga said. “It’s ruining our neighborhood. It’s ruining the houses. People don’t want to live here. It’s ruining the value of the homes because they’re getting flooded all the time.”

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