DYKER HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Elected officials and residents are calling on the city to fix sewer lines in Dyker Heights to prevent flooding and sewage backflow.
State Senator Andrew Gounardes, New York City Councilman Justin Brannan and others held a press conference Tuesday morning to address the issue.
They want the Department of Environmental Protection to fix lines south of 77th Street and 10th Avenue.
Residents say flooding and sewage backflow are constant problems during heavy rainfall and officials say the taxes residents pay should go to fixing the problem.
"Part of the deal is not that they're going to store the city's wastewater in their basements every time it rains," Brannan said.
Residents say dozens of neighbors have been dealing with the issue.
Brandon Levy's family has lived in the neighborhood for more than 70 years. He said that rain water floods their basements from the back while sewage water floods from the front and it's been happening every time it rains as long as they have lived there.
"Oh it's absolutely awful, you can't even describe how bad it was," Levy said. "You're dealing with feces and then other variables that we don't even know of."
Levy said in the last few years it has gotten much worse. He is already more than $10,000 deep in damage and counting.
"There's a hurricane coming up the coast of the United States this coming weekend, what's going to happen to these residents here?" Gounardes said. "The residents of Dyker Heights should not be ignored. They should not be left to handle this problem on their own."
"It's hard for us not feel that if this were happening in Manhattan this would not be happening," Brannan said.
Officials promised residents that they would make the fix, but that was more than 20 years ago.
A project authorized in 1999 modernized and upgraded sewers for 10th Avenue as far south as 77th Street, but no further.
Homeowners further south on 10th Avenue, especially near 80th and 81st streets, have dealt with the sewage backflow and flooding during moderate and heavy rainfall.
Brooklyn Community Board 10 identified sewer upgrades along 10th Ave from 77th Street to at least 86th Street.
A spokesperson with the DEP released the following statement:
"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. This is why we are focused on creating a multi-layered system of defense that will combine the use of green infrastructure and traditional sewers to better manage these storms. We look forward to working with the Dyker Heights community on this important work."
Residents are meeting with DEP engineers on Friday to discuss the issue.
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