NY Times Examines Gowanus Flooding


Yesterday we wondered if Gowanus residents should be concerned about flooding from Hurricane Sandy, today the New York Times came out with a full-blown article. Residents, not surprisingly, are concerned about inadequate infrastructure and the toxic waters, especially in light of big development eyeing the shores of the Gowanus. According to the Times, “E.P.A. officials say that the water that came out of the Gowanus, and turned Bond and Nevins Streets into rushing rivers last week, was extremely diluted with saltwater coming in with the tide. All floodwaters, they added, can be hazardous.” As for the 700-unit Lightstone development, a company rep says the development plan already takes into account possible flooding and will not need to be changed in any way. But residents seem pretty convinced that the flooding isn’t going away anytime soon. Locals are still waiting on the EPA for test results on how toxic the floodwaters actually are; those results could possibly change the course of how Gowanus residents deal with future flooding, or if they even stay in the neighborhood.
In Brooklyn, Worrying About Not Only Flooding but Also What’s in Water [NY Times]
Should Residents Worry About Gowanus Aftermath? [Brownstoner]
Photo by Craig Hazan

6 Comment

  • Any financial institution that finances this Lightstone development or the individual units there-in should be investigated by regulators as incompetent, as should any insurance company that insures this development, its developers or its eventual owners.

    A smart plaintiffs attorney should setup offices across the street…..between the workers and the eventual homeowners their is likely enough work for a lifetime.

    And BTW I am not even saying that their is a health risk (I do not know) all that is needed is a worker or resident gets cancer (or some other environmentally impacted ailment) – which is a guarantee.

    No defense counsel in America would go before a Brooklyn jury to argue that their is no risk from working/living on top of the superfund cleanup site that is the Gowanus Canal (that occasionally floods too).

  • wjcohen

    This controversial building would be the first new construction approved in Zone A since the hurricane.
    While Lightstone says its building will be 9 feet above grade but the Gowanus flooded more than 10 feet.
    And although they claim the building will be safe in the event of another storm, they do not consider or account for the rest of the neighborhood. Once the drainage is changed in the existing landscape, which way was engineered specifically to drain upland areas, there will be worse flooding in Gowanus, not less.
    A 2010 State Sea-Level Task Force Report recommends NOT BUILDING any new developments in these “at-risk” waterfront locations because the costs of dealing with a storm’s aftermath is too costly to New York taxpayers. The costs of bailing out residents during future storm surges raises everyone’s taxes and insurance rates.
    It’s unimaginable that this is still on the table after Hurricane Sandy.

  • East New York

    “we wondered if Gowanus residents should be concerned about flooding from Hurricane Sandy,”

    Oh no, it’s perfectly safe. How could a little storm-tossed toxic water hurt anyone?

  • East New York

    “we wondered if Gowanus residents should be concerned about flooding from Hurricane Sandy,”

    Oh no, it’s perfectly safe. How could a little storm-tossed toxic water hurt anyone?

  • Let’s see: EPA officials say the waters that overflowed onto the local streets was very diluted with saltwater. Later in the summary, we’re told that locals are still waiting for EPA test results on the floodwaters’ toxicity. So, was the EPA imnplying that the overflow was safe before they had actual test results?
    I seem to remember that the air around ground zero was supposed to be fine … Christie Todd Whitman and Giuliani said so … until it turned out it was toxic. Perhaps official comments of any sort should wait until hard evidence is available. And, in the meantime, only proper words of precaution should be issued.

  • Let’s see: EPA officials say the waters that overflowed onto the local streets was very diluted with saltwater. Later in the summary, we’re told that locals are still waiting for EPA test results on the floodwaters’ toxicity. So, was the EPA imnplying that the overflow was safe before they had actual test results?
    I seem to remember that the air around ground zero was supposed to be fine … Christie Todd Whitman and Giuliani said so … until it turned out it was toxic. Perhaps official comments of any sort should wait until hard evidence is available. And, in the meantime, only proper words of precaution should be issued.