City Could Raise Queens Sidewalks Two Feet to Fight Flooding

July 10, 2013 | Andy Cush

Queens’s Broad Channel neighborhood is plagued by floods, and not just when an epochal storm like Sandy rolls around–about twice a month, water from Jamaica Bay takes over the streets. To combat that, the city has set aside $22 million dollars for a plan that would literally raise the streets and sidewalks of the area by two feet, as well as install bulkheads to stave off the bay.

The question, according to the New York Timesis “whether, in an era of extreme weather, the government should come to the aid of neighborhoods that are trying to fend off inevitably rising waters.” In other words: are Broad Channel and other areas like it already a lost cause?

“If sea levels rise and storm-level projections are accurate, this community may be surviving on borrowed time,” said Natural Resources Defense Council lawyer Eric A. Goldstein. “How much sense does it make to keep reinvesting taxpayer dollars in a community that is directly in harm’s way?”

(Photo: Bjoertvedt/Wikimedia Commons)