Official Point Of View
Residents living in Far Rockaway, Bayswater, Edgemere, Somerville and Arverne are at a high risk in times of natural disasters, especially when considering the possibility of flooding. It does not necessarily take a Hurricane or a Super storm for the residents of East Rockaway to fall victim to mother nature; heavy rains or storms lasting hours near Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Freeway and Shore Front Parkway, will often ensure an overflow.
Flooding has been an issue for over the last fifty years, and the time has come to provide the necessary relief that has long been sought. Now comes $15 million smackaroos to the rescue. Here is where you can get a bigger bang for the buck…
First, shore up the area around the flood zones by adding a sea wall to the south; hence preventing the high tides from the Atlantic Ocean. To the east, Bayswater areas, replace, rebuild and repair bulkheads and strengthen the bay walls.
Next, once the boundaries are secured, it’s time to focus on the infrastructure - mainly the roads, streets, drainage and irrigation. Replace the sewer and drainage systems so that the potential for flooding is decreased during a rain storm. Now it’s time to turn to address the quality of life issues, such as sanitation, access to health clinics and faster response time for emergency services like fire, police and first responders. Then, reopen Peninsula Hospital Center with a brand new state of the art trauma wing, with a separate section for pediatrics, mental health and social services.
Further, improve the quality of all current public housing residents, by renovating and bringing their apartments up to code, creating wheel chair accessibility, new elevators and adding security cameras to help reduce crime. Also, create more affording housing opportunities for the Rockaways.
Lastly, let’s work to preserve the natural resource the Rockaways are known for- -its beautiful beach along the southern most coastline as well as our Parks and Greenspace.
James Sanders Jr. is a New York State Senator representing District 10 which includes parts of Rockaway Beach, Arverne, Edgemere and Far Rockaway.