WELCOME GUEST  |  LOG IN
meghan heckman, 2019 election
27east.com

Story - News

May 12, 2010 1:08 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Flood waters finally receding: Saga of unstable water table in East Quogue

May 12, 2010 1:08 PM

For the first time since March storms dumped record amounts of rain on the East End, Carolyn Sleight was able to turn off her pump for five consecutive days this week.

Ms. Sleight, who lives along Weesuck Creek in East Quogue, has been draining water from her basement for the better part of the spring. For about two weeks beginning in late March, she ran the pump 24 hours a day, which kept the water level to about 1 foot. And even after the worst was over, she had to continue running it on and off until recently.

“We were there with bated breath to see if the last inch was going to go over and go into the oil burner,” she said.

Ms. Sleight called for a special meeting of the East Quogue Civic Association on Saturday, May 8, to discuss flooding in the hamlet. And she found out she wasn’t alone.

When Civic Association President Jason Corrado asked how many people had flooding problems in recent months, about half of the 40 or so attendees in the East Quogue United Methodist Church raised their hands. That’s because a surge of precipitation this winter has caused the water table to rise in East Quogue—as it is all over Long Island, according to Ronald Busciolano, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey who spoke at the meeting.

“It’s not just an East End problem,” Mr. Busciolano said when reached this week. “It’s all across the island.”

At the meeting, Mr. Busciolano showed readings from a precipitation gauge in Riverhead. In the winters of 2007, 2008 and 2009, precipitation hovered at or below the area’s average of about 25 inches per season. But between October 2009 and March 2010, it spiked to about 40 inches.

“That’s why everybody’s having problems right now,” he said.

A well in Westhampton showed that the water table there rose from about 18 feet above sea level to 23 feet above sea level over the last year.

He said that a series of storms in February and March was probably behind the sharp increase. Long Island hasn’t gotten precipitation like this since 2006, he said—and that year was an outlier as well.

In general, Long Island has been getting unusually nasty storms since 2003 or so, according to Mr. Busciolano, whose office is in Coram.

“That pattern seems to have changed a little from what we used to see in the past,” he said. But the reasons behind the shift is unclear. It could be climate change, he said, but it could also be a natural weather pattern.

Either way, Steven Tricarico said that the Bay Shore-based company he works for, E&M Basement Waterproofing Co., has had a busy year.

“It’s just been an incredible amount of phone calls we’ve received,” he said after the meeting.

Indeed, Ms. Sleight, whose family has lived in East Quogue for some 30 years, said that she had never seen flooding like that of 2006 and 2010.

“Something incredible was happening,” she said.

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

WILL THE TOWNS/COUNTY BE AMENDING THE BUILDING REQUIREMENTS ON NEW CONSTRUCTION? SOME PARCELS SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN BUILT ON IN THE FIRST PLACE. MAYBE DENSITY IS SERIOUS ISSUE. LEGACY VILLAGE WILL ONLY ADD TO THE PROBLEM.
I WONDER WHAT THE POLITICIANS MIGHT HAVE TO SAY ON THE MATTER?
ANYONE? FRED? KEN? TIM? STEVE? ANYONE OUT THERE?
By uncleronk (136), southold on May 17, 10 10:28 AM
WHEN U TYPE IN ALL CAPS 9 OUT OF 10 PEOPLE SKIP YOUR POST. JUST SAYIN.
By cochise316 (58), southampton on May 17, 10 8:15 PM
Call that Baykeeper dude - maybe he can plant eel grass in your basement or you can raise oysters in those basement waters. Let's hope that those basements don't start to grow wetlands grasses too!
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on May 17, 10 11:53 AM
She called a meeting to discuss flooding? What exactly does she hope to get out of this meeting? I am not sure how the local gov't has any responsibility for wet basements and the water table.
By Hambone (513), New York on May 17, 10 10:47 PM
sometimes high water table can be addressed through municipal efforts such as stormwater management. can be an engineering function for the town or village. possibly a hazard mitigation issue if severe enough.
By jm (17), Hampton Bays on May 17, 10 10:52 PM
Your statement have no basis in fact.... High water table is not something which can be addressed through storm water management, basically because current storm water management calls for reducing the runoff to our surface waters. This is done through the use of dry wells and catch basins which all send the water underground, in turn raising the water table. The EPA guidelines for storm water management call for this approach. If you were suggesting we bottle the storm water and ship it off the ...more
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 17, 10 11:10 PM
i'm not going to argue with you. there are instances where stormwater programs can help with groundwater problems - if that is the case in quogue i have no idea.
By jm (17), Hampton Bays on May 18, 10 10:01 AM
above was meant as response to hambone. additional thought is that even if the problem cant be addressed through local government intervention it seems to be an issue that community members could have in common and they might have an interest in discussing approaches for a solution. seems to be a good reason to have a community meeting.
By jm (17), Hampton Bays on May 17, 10 10:55 PM
It definitely can't be addressed by local government, they don't know which way is up! The community meeting is a good idea. It would have been an ideal time for them to look in to ways of fixing it themselves.... the basement sealing I mentioned in the previous post. Many people may not be aware of how economical and effective this approach would be.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 17, 10 11:14 PM
There are ways to waterprrof and afte the flooding rains in 2006 I did the same thing, but I didnt know to have a floor drain. The purpose is not what you think the purpose was to releieve the pressure under the slab and let the water in so as to not crack the slab or floor. My slab cracked due tot he march 30 rains. Most of the walls held nicely but I am recoting them sealing a few cracks and adding a sump pump, below the slab this time. We learn from experience.
By North Sea Citizen (564), North Sea on May 18, 10 6:33 AM
While the pump will help I will say this in hopes it helps others. My brother has a home in Sagaponack. His home has a french drain system that drains into 3 pits with sump pumps. For the last 3 years it has done all that you could ask for. When the rains of March 30 came and the ground waters rose even 3 pumps were no match and the basement flooded despite the pumps. A subsequent engineering report showed a rate of infiltration of near 300 gallons per minute. The 3 pumps were only capable to pump ...more
By blbandit (21), Southampton on May 18, 10 7:35 AM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island