Each day, when I walk my dog up 9th Street between Jefferson and Madison, I see the puddle that never goes away. Each time it rains, two deep puddles appear on both sides of 9th Street, meeting in the middle. Since the storm, two weeks ago, these puddles have dried a bit, but still remain inches deep and feet across. A grid on one side of the puddles shows no bubbling, so obviously there is no drainage. In a few months, this will be an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes. For those of us who live in the blocks around 9th and 10th and Madison, the memory of Hurricane Sandy has not faded, nor have we seen any improvements made by the city to the drainage on our street.
Last week, when the high tide once again coincided with a torrential downpour, we were trapped in our apartments for several hours. When the water finally began to recede, two and a half hour after the flood, we were able to inch our way along the buildings to totally dry ground around the corner. This happens every time it storms. The smell of the sewage on the street when this backwash happens is chokingly bad. After the storm, the city will send out pumper trucks, but nothing is done to prevent the flooding. We feel sorriest for the firemen who get the job, every time, of wading into the sludge to rescue foolish drivers who follow some high-profile truck’s wake into the Shoprite parking lot. For me, the worst offense is that of realtors who handle properties on the street. We were certainly never told about the degree of flooding on the street. I once asked a realtor if she told potential buyers of half million dollar condos about what they were getting into, and she told me it was not her “fiduciary responsibility” to inform people of the situation. How about a moral imperative to inform people who are spending a whole lot of money on purchase or rent in uptown properties of a potentially dangerous situation? The city has ignored this situation far too long. The single pump installed at the opposite end of town is doing nothing to help the area that extends all the way to the Light Rail Station at 9th St. I hope others will join me in asking for action, especially as new buildings continue to go up around us and new people unwittingly move into the flood zone.
Very truly yours,