NEW DORP BEACH — The city has funded two long-planned projects that will add miles of new storm sewers to flood-prone blocks of New Dorp Beach and South Beach.
The Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation have allocated about $100 million to add infrastructure to help the areas — which were damaged by Hurricane Sandy — better handle floods, something residents have requested for years.
"The people in these areas of South Beach and New Dorp Beach should not have to live in fear of the weather forecast and endless pounding and flooding in front of their homes," Councilman James Oddo, who called on the city to fund the projects in September, said in a statement after the council's decision Tuesday.
"I know it has taken too long, but help is really on the way."
The projects will build storm sewers, reconstruct sanitary sewers, replace water mains and repair roadways, according to the DEP.
The areas for the upgrades will be in New Dorp Beach, from New Dorp Lane to Ebbitts Street and from Milton Avenue to Cedar Grove Avenue, and in South Beach from McClean Avenue to Olympia Avenue and from Hickory Avenue to Quintard Street, DEP officials said.
"In many parts of our city, development far outpaced the construction of critical infrastructure like storm sewers and, as residents in these communities can tell you, when it rains hard, flooding is a real concern,” said Carter Strickland, DEP Commissioner, in a statement.
"When these projects are complete, the miles of new storm sewers and reconstructed roadways will help alleviate flooding when it rains, and also help the neighborhood recover more quickly if we ever face another event like Sandy.”
In September, Oddo and Councilman-elect Steven Matteo called on the city to fund the projects — which have been planned for years and had nearly 90 percent of their design finished.
For years, residents have complained that their streets flooded with even moderate rainfall.
"Sandy was the icing on the cake, but the water conditions on the street have nothing to do with that," Melissa Tacoronte, a 15-year resident of Roma Avenue, told DNAinfo New York. "This is an everyday occurrence when it rains."
DEP expects to start construction in 2017.