My New York City apartment, which costs almost $4,000 per month, experienced severe flooding that caused water to seep through the ceiling light fixtures. This marks the second time my residence has been flooded in the span of six months

I had the opportunity to speak with Matthew Mutammara, who resides in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, about his recent experience with flooding. This essay is based on our conversation and has been edited for brevity and clarity.

When Friday morning arrived, my girlfriend and I were shocked to see water seeping through the ceiling light fixtures, rainwater gushing in through the front door, sewer drainage backing up into our bathtub, and a staggering 3 inches of standing water in our basement. The situation was alarming, and we knew we had to act quickly.

After capturing footage of the destruction, I shared the videos with my sibling, who proceeded to upload them onto TikTok.

On Friday morning, a severe rainstorm hit New York City, resulting in widespread flooding throughout the area. Unfortunately, this is not a new experience for me, as my apartment was previously flooded due to rain only four months ago. Insider reported on the flooding caused by the heavy rainstorm in Brooklyn and the impact it had on MTA transit and subway systems.

Bailing out water from the apartment was a lost cause

In an attempt to safeguard our possessions, we made sure to relocate all our electronic devices and furniture to a secure location. As an added precaution, we also confined our feline companion in our bedroom to keep him from harm’s way amidst the water.

Unfortunately, a couple of our laptops were directly hit with water, leaving us with no choice but to assess the extent of the damage. To make matters worse, even our rugs and desks were affected and may need to be disposed of. While we were able to salvage our TV, the majority of our belongings were quite badly damaged.

After making several attempts to remove the water from our toilet, we realized that it was a futile effort. It seemed like we were trying to empty an entire pool with a small shovel. At this point, we had no choice but to wait for the neighborhood’s water system to take its course and drain out the basement. It was a frustrating situation, but we knew that patience was the key to resolving the issue.

I reached out to our building superintendent, but unfortunately, no assistance is available at the moment due to the flooded streets. This situation is entirely understandable, given the circumstances.

I’m not particularly optimistic that our landlord will assist us much, given the unfortunate incident we experienced the last time our apartment flooded.

My New York City Apartment Has Flooded Before

In May, we experienced a flood in our apartment due to heavy rain. However, the situation wasn’t as severe compared to what’s happening in New York City at present. Our apartment has been flooded twice in less than 10 months of living here, and it’s quite frustrating.

Unfortunately, the landlord offered little assistance during the aftermath. All he did was send the building superintendent with a mop, followed by two cleaners armed with soap. In the end, it was up to my girlfriend and me to tackle the daunting task of cleaning up the floodwater on our own.

After discovering the water damage in our apartment last Friday, my girlfriend and I spoke to our neighbor whose unit had also flooded twice. They informed us that they are canceling their lease, even though they had just re-signed it last month. It’s becoming unbearable for them to deal with the recurring floods, and they have had enough.

I contacted our building’s super, but no one is available to assist us because the streets are still flooded – reasonable.

But, given what happened the last time our unit flooded, I’m not optimistic that our landlord will do much for us.

This isn’t the first time my NYC apartment flooded

The most recent incident of flooding in our apartment occurred in May, resulting from heavy rainfall. However, it was considerably less severe than the current situation unfolding in New York City. We have resided in this apartment for fewer than 10 months, and distressingly, this marks the second instance of flooding we’ve encountered.

During the previous flooding incident, we received minimal assistance from the landlord. The landlord dispatched the building superintendent with a mop and subsequently arranged for two hired cleaners armed with cleaning supplies. Ultimately, my girlfriend and I assumed the responsibility of cleaning up the floodwater ourselves.

Interestingly, our neighbors in the adjacent unit have also experienced two instances of flooding. I engaged in a conversation with them upon discovering the damage to our apartment last Friday morning. They informed us of their decision to terminate their lease, which they had just renewed last month, citing an inability to endure recurrent floods of this magnitude.

I have a steady job and live in a safe building. But not everyone has those privileges.

When Hurricane Ida hit two years ago, many people, particularly those of Asian origin, were forced to live in basements that were not intended to be dwelling areas. Despite the dangers, landlords marketed the premises regardless.

And many people died as a result of Ida’s flooding because they lacked protective housing.

After all, my partner and I had the luxury of having solid jobs and living in a Williamsburg apartment. This flooding is awful and disgusting, but we’ll be alright.

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