City Expands Cloudburst Resiliency Program to Four New Neighborhoods to Prevent Stormwater Flooding

Mayor Eric Adams. Photo Credit:

Storm events like 2021’s Hurricane Ida highlight the importance of implementing stormwater mitigation measures in flooding-prone areas. On January 9, 2023, Mayor Eric Adams announced the expansion of the Cloudburst Program, a program to construct clustered stormwater management projects in flood-prone communities. The program will expand to Corona and Kissena Park in Queens, Parkchester in the Bronx, and East New York, Brooklyn. Through the program, work has already started in South Jamaica and St. Albans in Queens and in East Harlem in Manhattan. 

The Cloudburst program allows for the city to go into neighborhoods that are prone to flooding and install adaptive methods of absorbing, storing and transferring stormwater, especially in “cloudbursts,” or sudden, heavy downpours of rain within a short period of time. Open spaces, and gray and green infrastructure help store water until storms subside and neighborhood drainage systems can catch up and hold the additional water. The projects will aim to mitigate the impacts of future storms of up to 2.3 inches of rain per hour. 

The neighborhoods were selected through collaboration of the New York City Departments of Environmental Protection, Parks and Recreation, Transportation, and Design and Construction. The selection process utilized a framework examining historic and future flooding hotspots, current city projects, and environmental justice and social factors that can lead to more vulnerability to flooding. 

The $390 million in funding for the projects is provided through a combination of federal and city funds. Brownsville, Brooklyn has been selected as the next future addition to the program, but the city is currently exploring funding options for projects done in Brownsville. 

Construction in the newly selected neighborhoods is expected to begin in 2025. 

Mayor Adams stated, “Four months ago, DEP Commissioner Aggarwala and I announced our plans for rainfall management, to protect our city and prevent future tragedies like what we saw during Hurricane Ida. Today, we are pleased to announce a significant milestone in that plan. This $400 million investment in stormwater management projects cement New York City’s status as a national and global leader in green infrastructure, and shows our commitment to protecting New Yorkers from disastrous floods.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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