Photo Courtesy of The White House
President Biden delivers the State of the Union.
By Forum Staff
A Forest Hills flooding victim was U.S. Rep. Grace Meng’s (D-Flushing) guest at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.
In September 2021, unprecedented flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida devastated Queens. Lives were lost and homes and property sustained extensive damage, and more rainfall over the past year caused additional flooding throughout the borough.
Meng brought Allison Sesso to President Joe Biden’s speech. She is a long-time resident of Forest Hills whose house on Selfridge Street, which she had moved into two weeks before Ida struck, was severely flooded during the storm. Water filled her basement, and several feet of water also gushed into the first floor. It destroyed much of her home’s interior, furniture, personal belongings and even a car, costing her well over $100,000 in damage.
“Stories like Allison’s are heartbreaking and it’s something that many others living in Queens were forced to endure during Ida and other storms,” Meng said. “After Ida, I visited affected constituents all across my district and saw the destruction firsthand. From tackling the impacts of climate change to upgrading local sewers and catch basins, this problem in our borough must be addressed, especially with the threat of more flooding occurring in the future. Having Allison as my guest will help keep a light shined on this urgent issue and further underscore the need for our city, state and federal governments to take action. I thank Allison for accepting my invitation to attend, and for sharing her harrowing ordeal.”
Sesso added, “Queens residents need upgrades to our sewer systems that will prevent the loss of life, destruction of our homes, emotional anguish and financial uncertainty caused by increasingly common extreme rain events. I look forward to seeing progress on these needed infrastructure improvements.”