Category Archives: Broad Channel

From a Rockaway warehouse, focusing on a return to life

Covered in the kind of dust that seems to permanently hover at construction sites, Patricia Andre stood in the back room of the Rockaway bungalow she has called home for more than three decades and, surrounded by people clutching tools and clambering up and down ladders, marveled at the evolution of a space that was once flooded with water higher than her waist. Standing next to a wall covered in sayings she and family members scrawled on the one-year anniversary … Continue reading

Broad Channel’s Hazel Lewis Celebrates 100th Birthday


City Must Expedite Street Project Preventing Broad Channel Sandy Recovery, Pol Says

The city Department of Design and Construction’s slow movement on a repaving and sidewalk repair project is keeping the Parks Department from being able to replant trees damaged by Superstorm Sandy 17 months ago, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) said in a recent letter urging the DDC’s commissioner to turn things around. “With warmer weather quickly approaching, residents will be spending more time outside, and they deserve to have the appearance of their neighborhood in top shape,” Goldfeder said. “It … Continue reading

South Queens, Rockaway Residents to Senate: Pass Flood Insurance Bill

Facing massive spikes in flood insurance premiums that many said would drive people from their homes and neighborhoods, South Queens and Rockaway residents this week urged the U.S. Senate to greenlight legislation passed by the House of Representatives that they said would bring much needed financial relief to thousands of area residents still struggling financially after Hurricane Sandy. “In Broad Channel, we were looking at premiums that raised $12,000 to $36,000 a year,” Broad Channel Civic Association President Dan Mundy, … Continue reading

Concerns Flood Insurance Would Skyrocket Under House Bill

While the U.S. House of Representatives was expected to hold a vote on a flood insurance bill Thursday, it was pushed off, and the House’s legislation is drawing concerns from some that it may not do enough to prevent the major spikes in flood insurance premiums that are expected to occur under the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said Wednesday that the vote would likely not happen Thursday as expected following some Democratic lawmakers’ statements … Continue reading

Build It Back Lambasted as Deeply Flawed

Sixteen months after Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York City, some Queens residents still have not been able to return to their homes devastated in the storm because of bureaucratic red tape that is strangling them financially and emotionally, borough residents and lawmakers said this week. While thousands of people whose lives were overturned during Sandy have applied to the Build it Back program – a city initiative launched in June that is using hundreds of millions of dollars in … Continue reading

House votes to delay some flood insurance premium increases

After months of Queens residents pleading with federal officials to send some financial relief their way after it looked as if their insurance premium rates were going to skyrocket, potentially driving them from their homes, the U.S. House of Representative voted 359-67 Wednesday for a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will delay some of the premium hikes – but only through this coming September. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on similar legislation this week. Other legislation that would … Continue reading

After flood insurance problems persist, some in South Queens, Rockaway say they feel they would have fared better without it

The fact that many homeowners in Queens are still rebuilding and recovering from Sandy, more than a year later, is little surprise given the storm’s historic levels of destruction. But, what may be surprising is some homeowners’ conclusion that they may have fared better in the end without any flood insurance whatsoever. Such is the case for Belle Harbor resident Irene Dougherty, who moved to the Rockaways with her husband in 2000. Dougherty, who is still in the process of … Continue reading

As sinkholes and flooding plague area, Queens leaders once again call on city to launch comprehensive study

The re-emergence of a sinkhole and a water main break on Beach 84th Street near Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway Park – which rendered residents unable to use their tap water at the end of last week – has once again highlighted the need for the city to launch a comprehensive study of sewer infrastructure, and other flood mitigation issues, throughout South Queens and the peninsula, area leaders and residents said. The water main break occurred during last week’s snowstorm … Continue reading

Spikes in flood insurance premiums could be delayed with Senate vote expected this month

A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), announced this week that relief could be headed the way of South Queens if legislators soon pass a bill that would delay flood insurance rates from increasing so dramatically that many civic leaders have said it would drive residents from their homes in the wake of being unable to afford skyrocketing insurance costs, creating ghost towns in coastal communities across the country. According to Schumer, the Senate is … Continue reading

Remembering Broad Channel’s ‘Everyday Hero’ – Michael McLoughlin ‘joins the angels’ at age 51

Ask almost anyone on West 12th Road in Broad Channel if they knew Michael McLoughlin, and you will get more than a resounding yes: If you are lucky, you will get to hear the stories of his selflessness, of his humor, of his optimism and strength. You will be told that after Hurricane Sandy almost completely destroyed his home, he stayed on the devastated block of West 12th Road, and every day he and his wife, Susan, would walk up … Continue reading

After Sandy Destroyed Their Home, A Broad Channel Family Faces New Battle – Hurricane victims, pols say fraudulent contractors are major blight on recovery efforts

Sophia Vailakis-DeVirgilio just wants the nightmare to end. After Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, leaving the Broad Channel resident, her husband and their then 10-year-old daughter with no home, she didn’t think life could get much worse. But, it did. Her husband, Lenny, who was diagnosed with liver cancer in April 2012, had to stay in the hospital a number of times following the storm – including for prostage surgery – and Vailakis-DeVirgilio herself began to face health issues … Continue reading

After Decades of Flooding, Relief is Coming to Broad Channel

A flood mitigation project in Broad Channel is, after years of water-weary residents and legislators advocating for it, going to become a reality, city officials confirmed this week. The city Office of Management and Budget gave its stamp of approval Dec. 2 on the capital project, which will bring bulkheads to West 11th, 12th and 13th roads in Broad Channel. As part of the project, for which residents have fought for years, the same streets’ elevation will be raised. Both … Continue reading

Broad Channel Lights Illuminate Return to Vibrancy – Resident raising money for Christmas lights on Cross Bay

For Stephanie Wagner, the Christmas lights that now adorn Cross Bay Boulevard in Broad Channel do more than remind residents of the holiday season – they cast a welcome glow on homes and businesses that are, once again, brimming with life a year after Hurricane Sandy devastated the neighborhood. The shimmering lights shaped like trees, stars and bows are, for Broad Channel residents who lost almost everything in the storm and were displaced for months, or more – a reminder … Continue reading

‘We Don’t Leave’ – Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department Works to Rebuild

Drive down Noel Road in Broad Channel and you might not see a firehouse. The red building tucked on the corner looks too small to hold two engines and two ambulances, and too old to still be in use, but the sign above the bay doors says Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department, and so it must be the place. The current Broad Channel fire station was built in 1905. It was then – and still is – all volunteer, and … Continue reading