Elected leaders demand answers after construction project floods Park Slope brownstones

Councilman Brad Lander, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, and State Sen. Zellnor Myrie sent a letter to city construction honchos demanding an investigation into rampant flooding seemingly stemming from a massive construction project in Park Slope.
Photo by Derrick Watterson

Local leaders are demanding answers after a massive construction project resulted in rampant flooding in dozens of Park Slope brownstones.

As this paper first reported on Aug. 30, the project — which calls for construction crews to dig up large swaths of Sixth Avenue — has caused row houses located on, or near the thoroughfare between Union Street and Park Place to flood each time it rains.

On Sept. 12 — two weeks following Brooklyn Paper’s exclusive report — Councilman Brad Lander, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, and State Sen. Zellnor Myrie fired off a letter to city construction honchos to demand transparency and an investigation into the flooding.

“Our offices request that [Department of Design and Construction] look further into this matter and provide any additional support they can for the residents,” reads the letter. “We also request…an update about the project to the North Slope neighborhood.”

The project — which is designed to replace underground water mains and install sewers, catch basins, and manholes — is not slated for completion until sometime in 2021.

When this paper first reported the flooding issue, a spokesman with the Department of Design and Construction — which oversees the project — said that they were “investigating the flooding reports,” but seemed to deny the connection between the construction effort and the flooding.

“This is an area that historically has drainage issues,” said Ian Michaels.

However, multiple area residents claim that their homes were nice and dry until the construction project began — a point which the three elected leaders alluded to in their letter.

“The vast majority of the neighbors who reached out reported that they had never experienced basement flooding, even during Super Storm Sandy,” read the letter.

Park Slope resident Michael Saunders, who lives near Sixth Avenue and St. John’s Place, claimed that the issue had cost him “thousands of dollars to deal with the damage.”

Michaels declined to comment regarding the overlap between construction and the flood — both at the end of August, and again this week.

As of deadline, the department had not responded to the elected officials’ request for information.

The St. John’s Place Community Association has organized a meeting to discuss the flooding issue on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at St. John’s Church, located at 139 St. Johns Pl. between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.

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