NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Extreme weather events like Ida are becoming more frequent.
Now, elected officials are putting plans in place to ensure the city is equipped to handle the next major storm.READ MORE: R. Kelly Found Guilty Of All Counts In Sex Trafficking, Racketeering Trial
On Tuesday, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge went to Woodside, Queens, where people are still cleaning up.
It has been nearly two weeks since Ida hit.
“I’m afraid to live in this neighborhood. I’m afraid because it could happen anytime again,” said Mario Kasouto.
Kasouto has lived on 64th Street for 50 years, but now he wants to move after his home was destroyed. He still has hundreds of pictures laid out to dry.
“With a lot of memories. Belongs to me, to the family, which no money can cover that,” Kasouto said.
He and his neighbors said the city needs to do more to help them and prevent this from happening again.
“I would like it if they could build a new drain system in the area,” Kasouto said.
“The storm this summer proved we don’t have time to wait on building a resilient city,” said City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine Mandate For New York City Teachers To Take Effect After Federal Appeals Court Lifts Temporary Ban
On Tuesday morning, the city’s Resiliency and Waterfronts Committee held a joint hearing, alongside the Transportation Committee, to hear how local agencies are preparing for the next storm.
“The city released it storm resiliency plan and flood maps back in May. … The plan and the maps are a good first step, but some of the expected completion dates are not for another two to three years,” City Councilmember Justin Brannan said. “Eleven people died in basement apartments two weeks ago. Two years is too long to develop these notification systems.”
Julia Nieves showed Duddridge cellphone video of her basement. Her house was one of the worst hit. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Chuck Schumer visited her home and promised FEMA would help her, but she says the amount she got won’t cover even a third of her damages.
“They approved me for $8,237.87. I’m like, what do I do with that?” Nieves said. “I’m 77, and the flood was so bad it took out everything I possibly owned.”
Nieves said the area desperately needs more drainage.
“They have one drain for the whole street. Totally ridiculous. The sewers are never cleaned out,” she said.
The city said it can’t rely on the aging sewer system alone. Instead, it is building more storm water storage and rain gardens to contain the overflow, officials said.
Before the next serious storm hits, officials also said New Yorkers can expect to see more emergency notifications, travel bans, subway shutdowns, and even precautionary evacuations in flood-prone neighborhoods.MORE NEWS: Parents Of Immunocompromised Girl Say Long Island School District Refused Requests For Adequate Remote Option
The city is hoping stimulus money from President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill will help pay for all of the improvements.