We Need More Fed Money for Flooding: Meng

We Need More Fed Money for Flooding: Meng

By Michael V. Cusenza

Following a miserable weekend that left Howard Beach and Hamilton Beach once again submerged, one borough pol is asking D.C. for help.

Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) on Wednesday announced that she has called for more federal money to address the flooding problem in Queens.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed Meng’s legislation to help mitigate local flooding by authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers – in working with the City of New York—to spend nearly $120 million on upgrading environmental infrastructure in the borough.

Last week, Meng testified before a key congressional committee where she asked for the funding to be increased to $250 million.

“We all remember how flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida devastated Queens,” said Meng. “Lives were lost, property was severely damaged and storms since then have resulted in additional flooding. I’m grateful that the President signed my legislation into law last year but with these storms occurring with greater frequency, it is clear that more resources are needed in order to be better prepared. From upgrading our sewer systems to improving storm water management, this extra money would go a long way to further addressing the problem, and I look forward to fighting for these dollars in Congress.”

Meng made her remarks during the Subcommittee’s Members Day hearing where Members of Congress testified about the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the bill that funds water infrastructure projects across the country. She testified “about how New York’s 100+ year-old stormwater system is unable to keep up with increasingly powerful and frequent storms that cause deadly flooding and economic damage to Queens.”

Meng’s legislation that was signed into law last year, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, allows the Army Corps to spend the money to address the problem of flooding, and Congress must now allocate the funding for it so the Corps can move forward with needed improvements.

“In Queens, we view terms like ‘100’ or ‘500-year flood’ with skepticism because we know from experience that these storms are occurring with greater frequency,” Meng testified. “A year after Ida, many of my constituents who were still recovering from storm damage were again hit by horrific flooding. During the storm, the City of New York sent out an emergency alert advising people who live in basement apartments to move to higher floors. And even in the two weeks before Ida, Tropical Storm Henri broke the existing record for rainfall in the city. I can go on, but the evidence is clear: these storms are occurring with greater frequency and New York City is not prepared.

“In the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, I was proud to secure a $119 million authorization for Queens,” Meng continued. “And now, I’m asking for that authorization to be increased to $250 million in the 2024 Reauthorization. This would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to spend up to $250 million to work with the City of New York in upgrading environmental infrastructure in Queens. This could fund projects that directly address the devastating flooding my constituents face and to help save lives.


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