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Flood Water Worries Raise Doubts On Choosing New Firehouse Site

ROCKAWAY PARK (CBSNewYork) -- Queens residents worry the location chosen for a new firehouse would leave it at risk should another Sandy-level storm hit again.

The three-story landmarked building that serves as the Engine 268/Ladder 137 firehouse in Rockaway Park was severely damaged during Superstorm Sandy and desperately needs a new home, reports CBS2's Hazel Sanchez.

Some locals are not happy about the location picked for a new firehouse given how close it would put the station to the water.

The FDNY plans to build it's new firehouse at the edge of Jamaica Bay on Beach Channel Drive and Beach 116th Street, which the department says is ideal since it's on a main thoroughfare in a lower-density residential area in the middle of the Far Rockaway peninsula.

But the property, a former Bank of America location damaged after Sandy, is located in a flood hazard zone. On June 13, Queens Community Board 14 voted 20 to 5 against the move, recommending the FDNY explore vacant land a few blocks away.

Residents worry it will be vulnerable if another storm strikes. Some also worry about how the new firehouse could affect traffic at the busy intersection with four lanes of traffic running along the Jamaica Bay sea wall.

The FDNY has filed to take over the property under eminent domain.

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