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Gowanus Still Quick to Flood as Toxic Canal Awaits Cleanup

By Caroline Spivack | August 4, 2017 3:49pm | Updated on August 7, 2017 9:39am
 The Gowanus Canal flooded Friday morning after a summer storm pounded the area.
The Gowanus Canal flooded Friday morning after a summer storm pounded the area.
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Marcus Baram

GOWANUS — Friday morning commuters were forced to drive through flooded Gowanus streets after a summer storm pounded the city and flooded the canal. 

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood advisory for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, warning low lying streets and drainage areas were susceptible to flooding.

But the Gowanus Canal flooding came as no surprise since the city's Department of Environmental Protection is in the middle of constructing three miles of storm sewers and catch basins that will keep storm water out of the city's sewage system — a problem that in the meantime converts Gowanus streets into rivers on stormy days and washes sewage into the canal.

To make maters worse, the Gowanus Canal is a federal Superfund site and the Environmental Protection Agency is in the processes of cleaning the toxic waters. Workers are set to start scooping the waterway's infamous "black mayonnaise" sludge at the canal's bottom later this year. 

Water washed over streets along the Gowanus, forcing Friday commuters to drive through the water on their way to work.


Commuting issues #gowanus #flood

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Those living in the the neighborhood's luxury canal-side apartments on Bond Street got more than they bargained for when water bubbled out of storm drains and up onto the street near the Carroll Street bridge.

Some likened the waves of fetid water to a bizarre day at the beach. "Surfs up," said one Instagramer who filmed a stream of cars charging through the flood on 9th Street near Second Avenue. 


#surfsup #🏄‍♀️🏄🏄‍♀️ on #gowanus #beach yikes #flashflood #mess #brooklyn #nyc

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The storms tapered off later in the morning but heavy rain and thunderstorms were expected to sweep the city Monday. The National Weather Service expects 1 to 2 inches of rainfall and issued a flash flood watch from noon.