Residents: Seawater Routinely Rises Up In Sewers In Lindenhurst, Babylon

LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Residents in one South Shore community who are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy now have another fight with Mother Nature – flooding on almost a daily basis.

John and Candida Vogt said they are fed up with flooding, the dodging of constant saltwater on the street of their Sandy-ravaged home in Lindenhurst.

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“The tides are much more extreme than what they were in the past. Ever since Sandy, Gilgo Beach and others used to protect us. They don’t protect us anymore,” Candida Vogt said.

For Charley and Jessie Liotta, it is a daunting task to rebuild along their section of Suffolk County’s South Shore because seawater now rises through sewers and sits in the streets for hours a day, damaging property.

“Cars, lawns, shrubbery, landscaping,” Charley said.

“It comes up over the lawn, over the driveway. You can’t park in the driveway. You can’t park in front of the house. We have to park all the way down by the beach and walk,” Jessie added.

Homeowners called CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan on Tuesday to share their frustrations, which are seen clearly in their home videos and photographs.

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Ever since Hurricane Irene, they said they’ve dealt with surges from the Great South Bay, but claim Sandy changed the character of the inlet so dramatically, that shifting sand  is now channeling rushing water back into storm drains and reaching their doorsteps.

“It doesn’t have to rain here for the flooding to come up. It just comes up on full moon or high tide,” said Violet Ramos, whose family lost two cars in the salt water. “I was on the phone with my insurance company and the town today. I am not getting results.”

The town of Babylon said it is listening and working on a solution. It is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a $600,000 grant to retrofit the 100-year-old sewers and drains south of Montauk Highway with flapper check valves.

“When the tide does go up, as long as it is working properly, it will stop the water from flowing back,” said Babylon waterways manager Brian Vitani.

In all, 200 of the so-called “flapper gates” would be installed immediately if the grant comes through, CBS 2’s McLogan reported.

Babylon will provide another $200,000 of local funding for the sewer flapper gates.

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