2006-02-03 / Community

‘Freakishly High’ Moon Tide, Rain Rip Rockaway

By Howard Schwach


Residents of   Burchell Avenue in Arverne ponder getting from their homes that were flooded by the high winds and flood tide. Photos by Doug Mcloed
Residents of Burchell Avenue in Arverne ponder getting from their homes that were flooded by the high winds and flood tide. Photos by Doug Mcloed Mother Nature conspired to hit Rockaway with a one-two punch on Tuesday, hitting the peninsula and Broad Channel with a “freakishly high moon tide” coupled with driving rain that brought flooding to many areas.

The unpredictable tide coupled with a slow-moving storm system and clogged storm drains resulted in sporadic floods that many say were the most severe in more than a decade.

A new moon and the persistent eastern winds caused tides to rise more than six feet above their normal levels, one Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) spokesperson told reporters. In some places in the peninsula and in Broad Channel, there was three feet of water in the streets.

“The problem was that the water came in quite quickly,” City Councilman Joseph Addabbo told reporters. “But it didn’t recede quickly enough.”

Areas hardest hit included sections of Bayswater, the Sommerville section of Arverne and the streets off Seagirt Boulevard in the area of Beach 32 Street. Some west end streets, such as Beach 120 Street and Newport Avenue, were also under water for most of the morning hours.

Basements in the area of Beach 32 Street and Seagirt Boulevard were flooded for hours, stranding residents in their homes and keeping emergency responders from the area. 
Basements in the area of Beach 32 Street and Seagirt Boulevard were flooded for hours, stranding residents in their homes and keeping emergency responders from the area. While the DEP spokesperson said that there was not much the agency could do about the winds and the tide, Addabbo called for deeper catch basins.

“We have to be prepared for these kinds of situations that often come to us without warning,” he said.

The water levels began receding at mid-afternoon when winds died down and the tide receded.

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