The impacts of Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Superstorm Sandy were felt in large areas of New York and New Jersey, resulting in significant damage to property and infrastructure. The communities of Springfield Gardens, Brookville and Rosedale, near John F. Kennedy International Airport, were inundated by extreme tidal flooding.
These neighborhoods — which already experience frequent, smaller-scale stormwater flooding during high tide events, heavy rainstorms and nor’easters — are particularly vulnerable due to their low-lying topography, high groundwater table and location adjacent to, and interwoven with, tidal wetlands. During Superstorm Sandy, the lack of permeable land within the communities led to rainwater runoff, causing overflows of the stormwater system and flooding in areas beyond the range of the tidal flooding.
As part of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, established by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, WSP worked with the agency and community to develop a plan to combat the recurring flooding. Incorporating an integrated approach, the plan includes multiple sustainable and cost-effective resilience strategies, which will serve to:
- Alleviate localized flooding conditions
- Strengthen the emergency response capacity of the community
- Support environmental stewardship of the community’s natural and man-made resources
- Provide safe and reliable access to critical goods and services
The plan also emphasizes the need for the expansion of green water infrastructure and the implementation of concentrated education and training to increase the local capacity for disaster recovery.