Neighbors in flooded-out East Patchogue: 'We're drowning'

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EAST PATCHOGUE -

Residents in East Patchogue are still dealing with street flooding more than a week after the first nor'easter struck the area. 

For Columbus Street resident Jackie Schwicke – the cycle of storms, flooded basements, and pumping out water – is nothing new. 

"We've been here for over 30 years, and we've always had flooding issues, but they're getting progressively worse," she told News 12 Long Island. 

The Town of Brookhaven and its highway department have tried to resolve the issue by adding multiple drainage structures. They also built a sump in 2015 that was designed to keep water off the road. Residents say it was initially helpful, but has since regressed. 

Highway Department Superintendent said Dan Losquadro the back-to-back nor'easters left their hands tied. 

"Sea levels have risen. Sandy put a new breach in Fire Island, and unfortunately we can't pump the Atlantic Ocean or the Great South Bay," said Losquadro. 

He added that a "far-fetched" plan to fix the issue would probably include a multibillion-dollar federal infrastructure investment. 

Schwicke called the current situation "really unhealthy." 

"It brings housing values down. Who would want to live here? It's sad, because this is a lovely community. But we're drowning," she said. 

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