Not much is left of Marge Kolb’s basement in Woodside. The rainfall from Hurricane Ida completely flooded her home.
She and her family have been living in the area for 30 years. She said she's never experienced flooding quite like this.
“We lost our washer and dryer, we lost our hot water heater and we probably have to replace the heating system, we’re not sure about. We have to take out all the sheet rock. We had really nice cabinets in the basement that we took out to see if we can salvage them, but I don't know if we can or not” Kolb said.
She believes the damage could easily cost up to $15,000 to fix, and she’s hoping for government assistance.
On Monday, President Joe Biden approved the New York disaster declaration, clearing the way for more federal help.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Shumer, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and FEMA representatives spent the Labor Day holiday touring this Woodside neighborhood. Puddles, garbage and damaged cars still line the street.
One resident told NY1 that a line of dirt on his fence marks where the water rose to on the day of the storm.
“The city is going to send teams out to the affected areas, door to door, to make sure people sign up to cut through the red tape. People need money, and they need it quickly. That's going to make a difference. They’ve just gone through devastation,” de Blasio said.
Queens was hit hard by the storm. Eleven out of the 13 people who died in the five boroughs due to the floodwaters lived in Queens. Woodside is not considered a flood zone. therefore flood insurance is not accessible to these residents. But elected officials here say insurance companies need to step up.
“This was also a sewage incident, which is covered by homeowners insurance, so we're going to do everything we can to advance whatever documentation that's necessary to support that claim,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
For many here, it's the irreplaceables that make this situation more difficult.
“We’re all just devastated. We're throwing away photographs and things that you’ve had for years, and it's sad” Kolb said.
President Joe Biden is set to tour the damage in Queens on Tuesday.