‘It's becoming dangerous.’ New Rochelle neighbors frustrated by constant flooding

Residents of Primrose Avenue in New Rochelle say they are frustrated by non-stop flooding problems on their street.

Jade Nash

Mar 24, 2024, 9:01 PM

Updated 28 days ago

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Residents of Primrose Avenue in New Rochelle say they are frustrated by non-stop flooding problems on their street.
Adele Shapiro is one of them. She says she is a long-time resident of the block and first fell in love with the street nearly 38 years ago.
"We loved the block, and we still do because it's a dead-end street," Shapiro says.
Although Shapiro originally saw the dead-end as an amenity, she now says the feature is a major source of her and her neighbors' frustrations.
"We are trapped on this street when there's a rainstorm," Shapiro said.
She says it doesn't take much rain for the street to flood and trap them in. The conditions have caused Shapiro's neighbors headaches and inconveniences over the years as the problem worsens.
"I've already lost a truck trying to get back to help them out during a flood," Thomas DiCarlo, a resident, says.
Karen Bellas, a resident on the street, said she can't flush her toilets in her home when the flooding gets bad.
"We've had company at the house [and] it's really embarrassing when you got to tell people 'Please don't flush the toilets here because you're going to have to wait [until] it recedes enough and the sewers aren't backed up," Bellas said.
Oraan Zorbaron said he had to wear fishing gear to carry his 9-month-old baby through the flooded street to get to his car that was parked on another street so they could go to the hospital for surgery.
"It's already a stressful situation, but the stress level was that much higher because of the difficulty in getting there. It's very upsetting that this is how I have to live," Zorbaron said.
However, Judah Holstein, a Westchester County legislator said the city is working to mitigate the issue.
"There's a plan. It's a 10-year plan that New Rochelle came up with before I was even elected that includes this area, but other parts of flooding in New Rochelle," Holstein said. "In the next 24-months, there is an effort to work specifically on this area."
While residents say they are grateful that actions are being taken, they also say they want to see a short-term solution implemented, too.
"We can't wait long-term anymore," Shapiro said. "Is it going to take somebody to die waiting for an emergency vehicle to come until the city responds? We just can't wait. It's becoming dangerous."
The City of New Rochelle sent a statement to News 12:
“We are grateful to the dedication of New Rochelle’s Public Works, Fire, and Police Departments who having been working since the start of yesterday’s extreme storm to address flooding, downed trees, and other immediate safety issues. We are taking steps to remediate the issue in this neighborhood and other neighborhoods as well as part of the first phase of our Flood Mitigation Plan this year.”


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