Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 10 September 2010 00:00
Long Island was rocked with a heavy rainstorm two weeks ago, and some local weather reports have said rainfall in Mineola reached levels that haven’t been reached in 50 years. Certain Mineola residents are still feeling the effect.
Public Works Superintendent Tom Rini said that most of Nassau County dealt with flooding, which led to parts of the Long Island Expressway and the Northern State Parkway to close. Concerning Mineola, areas of Bruce Terrace and from Dow Avenue to Raff Avenue were flooded during the storm, which saw four inches of rainfall per hour.
With Bruce Terrace being the lowest point of elevation in the village, it was hit the hardest during the storm. Rini said that if he had to compare it to a recent storm, it was close to the July 2007 rainstorm that saw cars and homes damaged.
“The largest storm that we had previous to this one, was the flooding that occurred in 2007,” he said. “On Aug. 22 the underpass at Roslyn Road was closed since it was flooded with about ten feet of water.”
The county recharge basin at Memorial Park, where approximately six drainage pipes sit, was overwhelmed and caused flooding up to Jackson Avenue. Furthermore, parts of Sayville Road just north of Jericho Turnpike saw high water levels as well.
“Those pipes feed into various parts of the area,” Rini stated. “There’s a 5 or 6 to 1 ratio of water coming in or going out which creates problems. But again that’s not even our facility. It’s within the village, but it’s the county’s facility. It’s part of their system. Unfortunately with the exception of Bruce Terrace, all of our drainage in the village at some point feeds into the county system.”
Rini said that a backwater condition occurs near Searing Avenue and the pipe and it trickles down near Roslyn Road where the elevation decreases, which causes flooding. The same thing occurs on Sayville Road according to Rini.
“It occurs on Sayville Road,” he said. “That’s a major trunk line that we’re connected to. When that collection base in Memorial Park reaches high levels, it floods across to Jackson Avenue and to Sayville [Road].”
Rini stated that he’s waiting for the data from the county on the measurement of rain that fell on Aug. 22. According to his findings, three to four inches of rain fell that Sunday.
“It happened in a short period of time and that’s what generally occurs in these types of flood situations,” Rini said. “You get a very fast moving saturated rainfall within a short period of time and depending on the rate of rainfall, flooding can occur. This storm was so intense, and it’s the first time that I heard of it, but parts of the LIE and Northern State [Parkway] were closed in spots due to heavy flooding.”
Sayville Road resident Eugene Bradley was adamant that something has to be done about the flooding issues in Mineola. He claims that he lost three cars in the Aug. 22 storm.
“I lost three cars that night,” he said. “This is unacceptable that this situation keeps occurring during heavy rainfall.” Bradley works for the Great Neck Parks Department and has lived in the area for three years. “I cannot afford another three cars.”
“It has not rained that hard in three years,” Mayor Jack Martins said. “In the last three years, I’m not sure if the LIE was ever closed due to rain so it was certainly an anomaly. The volume of water that came down was too much for the system to handle.
“Since July 2007, when we had the last significant storm, we had Nassau County come into the recharge basin and dig it out,” Martins said. “It has improved the drainage in the area. We have not been sitting back and waiting for something to happen. We understood the flooding that took place in 2007 was a result of the recharge basin and we took care of it and continue to take care of it.”