Today’s news:

Hail? Yeah! Storm knocks out subway and floods Fourth Avenue — again

for The Brooklyn Paper

Heavy rains knocked out F-train service in a fluke outage that inconvenienced tens of thousands of evening commuters on Monday night — and flooded Fourth Avenue just like it always does.

The ongoing lack of drainage near Carroll Street caused garbage-strewn water to rise more than a foot — high enough to float a car — damaging several vehicles, businesses, and homes.

“The community has been complaining about this for a century,” said Michele Giancola, owner of the constantly flooded Root Hill Café.

Giancola and her neighbors have to sandbag their doorways during storms to keep out the water, which gets backed up due to a dysfunctional drainage system.

Faulty catch basins — which keep debris from flowing into the sewer, but also retard the flow of water — are partially to blame, said Giancola.

The Department of Environmental Protection has said it will improve the catch basins within two years, but the city’s antiquated, overburdened sewer system — which mixes rainwater with household runoff — lies at the root of the problem. The department has no plans to address that.

“There’s still not a physical plan of action,” Giancola said. “The city needs to think of a solution.”

An agency spokeswoman said that the city “is investigating the causes of this condition, and is continuing to explore some improvements that can be made.”

Meanwhile, a few blocks to the south, the floodwaters played havoc with the elevated portion of the F line at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street.

Service was out in both directions between 9 pm and 10:30 pm after rain shorted out the third rail, an MTA spokesman said. Straphangers were far more expansive in their explanation of the problem.

“It was a complete disaster,” said one commuter, who was forced off the Coney Island-bound F train at the Jay Street-Borough Hall with hundreds of other riders. Bus service to points south was slow in coming.

“Everybody had to find a new way home — but the B67 never came,” said the rider. “People were really upset.”

The MTA spokesman, Charles Seaton, said that the rain-caused outage was a one-time thing.

“There is no indication that this was anything other than an isolated incident,” said MTA spokesman Charles Seaton.

Isolated, indeed — the storm even included hail as big as ping-pong balls.

“I saw people making snowballs!” said photographer John van Pamer, who was driving home when the freakish hit.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

NoLandGrab from Brooklyn says:
At least inconvenienced straphangers can take solace in the fact that Bruce Ratner has 22 years to pay off his discounted MTA loan for the half-price deal he got on the Vanderbilt railyard.
Oct. 13, 2010, 1:27 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Links