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.