Long Island City residents concerned over outdated infrastructure as hurricane season rolls in

WABC logo
Friday, September 1, 2023
Growing concerns over outdated infrastructure in Long Island City
Long Island City residents remain concerned over the outdated sewer system that has caused flooding whenever there is rainfall. Anthony Carlo has the story.

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (WABC) -- When it rains in Long Island City, it doesn't always pour - but the owner of an Italian cafe in the area says it almost always floods.

"If you go anywhere in the world they've figured this out," said Gianna Cerbone, owner of Manducatis Rusticate. "They just can't figure it out for a piece of Queens? Why?"

That age-old question is one that comes up often in regards to aging infrastructure battered by Hurricane Sandy and Ida. Last month marked two years since the latter storm ravaged the city.

"The sewer system is outdated and because of that, a lot of businesses and residents are experiencing flooding whenever there is a major rainfall," said Laura Rothrock, who is the President of LIC Partnership.

Under the De Blasio administration in 2018, the city announced $180 million in new funding for Long Island City. $95 million of that total amount was slated for upgrades to the sewer system and water mains.

However, nearly five years later, the project appears to have stalled.

"We're in hurricane season right now, and we're unprepared," said Rothrock. "I don't know where that money is. I don't know what they've done."

The project was put into a 10 year capital plan - but remains unfunded, according to the President of the LIC Partnership.

"A lot of times New Yorkers aren't thinking about infrastructure under the ground until there is something like a water main break, and that's why it's important for us to get to these problems before there's a catastrophe," said Rothrock.


* More Queens news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.