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Flooding in Lindenwood 'Worse Than Sandy,' Some Homeowners Say

  Homeowners began cleaning up after a deluge dumped up to five inches of water across the city. 
Residents Blame Poor Infrastructure for Lindenwood Flooding
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LINDENWOOD — Wednesday's massive storm system, which dumped up to five inches of rain on the city, was worse than Hurricane Sandy for a south Queens neighborhood, some homeowners said.

Residents began cleaning out flooded basements around Lindenwood, many at the end of sunken driveways, as city officials went door-to-door to assess the damage.

And many blamed an outdated sewer system for the damage in the low-lying area.

Nina Ayaz, 71, said water came down the street in waves, and the basement of her home on 151st Avenue and 80th Street — which she fixed last year after Sandy — had up to four feet of water.

"This was worse than Sandy. We're right back to phase one, and I don't think FEMA's coming in for this one," she said. "What a mess. Everything's a disaster. Everything's flooded."

Her driveway looked like a swimming pool, she said.

"I had everybody's poop in my home for the last one," she said, referring to the 2012 hurricane that brought sewage into her home.

"I don't know what's in there now."

When she opened the garage door there was a scene similar to the hurricane — her fridge was knocked over as were Christmas decorations and other boxes. 

The FDNY was available to pump out basements if needed, officials said.

The storm flooded neighborhoods across the city and wreaked havoc on roads, but the most significant damage was in Lindenwood, near Howard Beach.

The 106th Precinct, led by Dep. Inspector Jeffrey Schiff, tweeted that the worst damage was from 76th Street to 82nd Street and between 149th and 156th avenues.

Ayaz blamed the sewers for the extensive flooding, which she said can't handle significant rainfall.

"Our sewer system is not good," she said. "This happens every time we get heavy rain."

Neighbors on 149th Avenue agreed.

"When they built this area, they never changed the pipes," said Lisa Scacalossi-Caponyas, 49. "It's not accommodating."

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd said the area hasn't had many overall problems although individual blocks have experienced flooding.

"There's not a long-term plan to add additional drainage here now because throughout the area, while there were a few houses that had problems, they haven't been widespread through the area over recent years," she said.

"We think that overall the sewage system is good in this area, but it is a very low-lying area," she said, noting that it was also a high tide and the moon that caused additional inundation.

There weren't any improvements made after the hurricane, she said, but the DEP will take a "close look" at the drainage systems around Lindenwood.