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Hempstead installs storm-drain catch basins

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray speaks at a

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray speaks at a press conference. (Sept. 22, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile

The Town of Hempstead has installed two storm-drain catch basins to help alleviate flooding on a two-block stretch of Woodside Avenue in Baldwin, but residents say they are waiting for Nassau County to do its part.

Hempstead Town and Nassau County officials have been working to try to solve the water buildup caused by insufficient storm drains, after residents complained they have suffered for years from flooding of their homes and damage to their cars.

"The Town of Hempstead has worked quickly in addressing this stormwater accumulation issue so that we can continue to protect the homes and property of our neighbors on Woodside Avenue," Supervisor Kate Murray said in a statement.

The flooding caused by heavy rains inundates Woodside Avenue from Grand Avenue to Centennial Avenue. Rainwater flows down from Grand Avenue, a county road, and from Schuman Avenue and Barth Drive, both town roads. As much as four feet of water has pooled on Woodside Avenue, the lowest elevation point, residents have said.

The town installed two new storm-drain catch basins at Schuman Avenue and Mattison Street to collect water before it travels down to Woodside Avenue. The catch basins were installed at the end of September at a total cost of $30,000. During the summer, the town also cleaned all storm basins in the affected area.

"It has alleviated the flooding, but it has not completely eradicated the flood problems," said Charles Dickens III, 36, who has lived on Woodside Avenue for four years and whose home has twice been flooded. "We're not completely happy. There is more that needs to be done."

Jacqueline Bell, president of the Baldwin Oaks Civic Association, said the ball is now in the county's court. "The town has done all of what they can do. Now we have to wait on the county to see how they will deal with the water."

Catch basins are still needed at Grand Avenue and Barth Drive, as well as Ronald Court, despite the water accumulation decreasing to about two feet, Dickens said.

Nassau County's Department of Public Works has inspected and cleared all catch basins and channels related to the Baldwin drainage system, a spokesman said. A study of drainage in the area is planned for the future, pending budget approval, and could be conducted in 2013, the spokesman said.

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