Property owner in city sues over flash flood loss

A New Rochelle, N.Y. man who owned a house in the 800 block of Park Avenue that sustained water damage due to street flooding caused by a heavy downpour two years ago has sued the city for $121,000.

John DeRaffele seeks that amount for the flash flood damage on July 31, 2011 and punitive damages due to “stress,” according to documents in Lycoming County Court.

DeRaffele claims his property at 819-819 1/2 Park Ave. sustained damage to heating and electrical systems.

He also claims a non-operative oil tank overturned requiring environmental cleanup.

DeRaffele’s lawsuit alleges the city was negligent in not having proper piping to remove the water from the street, resulting in severe flood damage to the home and the loss of two tenants.

DeRaffele said he was instructed to register the loss with the fire marshal, city Department of Streets and Parks and Mayor Gabriel J. Campana’s office, according to the suit.

DeRaffele seeks larger punitive damages since the problem has not been corrected and he has endured stress waiting for another catastrophe to occur, according to the suit.