A flood-prone Brooklyn construction site has Greenpoint angrily buzzing, as locals fret over deluged sidewalks and fear the watery lot has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Developer Bruman Realty is erecting a seven-story apartment building at Manhattan Avenue and Eagle Street.
Contractors knocked down a handful of old buildings there and put up a construction fence last fall. But since then, the lot has repeatedly flooded, sending water into adjacent yards and rendering sidewalks around the lot impassable with mucky runoff.
Now amid the spring mosquito season, locals fear the lot is becoming ground zero for a neighborhood bite battalion.
“Now that it’s taking a turn for warmer weather, obviously it’s going to be a breeding ground,” said Geri Cizmar, who lives in an apartment next to the lot. “That’s just really worrisome.”
“The mosquitoes are really bad around here,” said neighbor Nick Wagstiff, 28, gesturing to the lot as he splashed through the property’s flooded sidewalk shed.
The number of Americans sickened by bites from infected mosquitoes, ticks or fleas tripled from 2004 to 2016, according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency released statistics this month that cite favorable breeding conditions caused by the rise of global temperatures.
Mosquitoes require water to breed, and it takes as little as seven days for an egg to develop into a fully grown adult, according to the CDC.
The city Health Department recommends eliminating “any standing water that collects on your property” to reduce mosquito populations.
Cizmar says she has logged nearly a half-dozen 311 complaints about the property this year, but nothing has been done.
Two complaints were unsubstantiated, records show — but inspectors waited 10 and 11 days to tour the site, according to Department of Buildings records, leaving plenty of time for the water to evaporate.
Three other complaints were closed out more quickly as “duplicates,” records show.
“I can’t understand why they can’t see that this is a problem,” Cizmar said.
A DOB spokeswoman said the inspections were conducted within 72 hours and added that the city records were incorrect.
The agency is sending an inspector to the site Thursday, the spokeswoman said.
A woman who answered the phone at Bruman Realty declined to comment.
Additional reporting by Ruth Weissman
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