A new hurricane evacuation map released by the Bloomberg administration expands flood zones to include 37 percent of the city’s population. Evacuation zones are now divided into 1 through 6, rather than A, B and C, and 600,000 additional people are included in the new at-risk zones, for a total of 2.99 million. More streets in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Brownsville, Flatbush and Bensonhurst are included, as well as parts of Maspeth, Elmhurst, Jamaica, Ozone Park and Jackson Heights. The new zones also include 175 of 334 NYCHA housing developments, up from 149 under the prior map. More information can be found here. Maps via Mayor’s Office
Yesterday Mayor Bloomberg outlined an ambitious $20 billion plan to protect the waterfront from future storms like Hurricane Sandy. He spoke at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which was flooded with four-and-a-half feet of water during the storm. The Times broke down Bloomberg’s 438-page report on the proposals, which would not be implemented until well after the mayor leaves office later this year. The plan calls for a system of barriers, permanent levees, dunes, portable flood walls, bulkheads, tide gates, and offshore breakwaters all around New York City. Portable flood walls and offshore breakwaters made of rocks would protect Red Hook. Movable gates would be installed in Gowanus. In the Bay Ridge flats and other shore areas in southern Brooklyn, the city would foster wetlands. Bloomberg emphasized that these changes must be enacted sooner, rather than later — waterfront development is showing no signs of slowing, although sea levels are expected to rise 12 to 29 inches higher by 2050. This $20 billion price tag, a price likely to grow, will come from federal and city money already allocated, aid from Congress, and an additional $5 billion from the City itself. Do you think this is a wise way to spend taxpayer money? And will it work? Bloomberg Outlines $20 Billion Storm Protection Plan [NY Times] Photo by lazzo51
Landlords in Coney Island, Red Hook and Dumbo are helping out their Sandy-ravaged commercial tenants with rent and other aid, DNAinfo reported. Thor Equities has lowered rents by as much as 40 percent on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, benefitting Brooklyn Rock and Wampum, among others. Red Hook landlord Gregory O’Connell, whose own business moved back into its Red Hook HQ only last week, has offered low-interest loans and rent abatements to tenants. Two Trees Management in Dumbo has also been letting tenants pay rent later and talking to insurance companies on their behalf, as well as helping out with property repairs. Brooklyn Waterfront’s Landlords Forgo Rent to Keep Sandy-Ravaged Tenants [TRD] Photo by Lock
Council members local pols Brad Lander, Nydia Velazquez and Velmanette Montgomery wrote a letter to City Hall in light of the most recent Gowanus flooding, asking for the city to consider the adverse hydrologic impacts on properties resulting from regrading large development sites within flood hazards areas. Of course, they specifically mention the proposed 700-unit, 12-story development for the Lightstone site, where the developers plan to regrade the site by raising it by two feet at 1st Street. The developers are regrading because of new building standards set after Hurricane Sandy. But, because the Gowanus Canal is a long, narrow tidal waterway lined by buildings, the neighbors are worried that regrading will actually cause floodwaters to be pushed out to more properties, as well as impede drainage from properties further inland. The letter asks if there will be any investigation into the effects of regrading around the Gowanus Canal to come up with a development approach specific to that waterway. As Pardon Me for Asking, which printed the letter in full, said, “it is encouraging that our Electeds recognize the hydrological impact to surrounding areas if developers like Lightstone are allow[ed] to regrade the Gowanus area. We need a new hydrological study before any new development moves forward.” Politicians Ask City to Evaluate Hydrologic Impact of Large Elevated Sites [PMFA] Photo via Storify
All the rain today brought flooding into Gowanus and parts of the Slope. Weather.com posted photos of severe flooding at Fourth Avenue and Carroll Street (pictured above) and 9th Street between 2nd and Smith. South Slope News nabbed photos of crazy flooding on 4th Avenue between President and Garfield and minor flooding along 7th Avenue. What’s the situation over in Gowanus now, since the rain’s calmed down a bit? Twitter photo via Weather.com
A pipe burst on the second floor at the problem-plagued Lefferts Hotel in Clinton Hill causing major flooding yesterday evening according to a fire department spokesman. A tipster tells us that water also damaged a number of adjacent brownstones. Firemen were unable to shut off the vacant building’s water valve because the basement had flooded with seven feet of water and, says the tipster: “water was pouring out of windows and down the side of the building like a waterfall.” The Department of Environmental Protection had to be called to shut off the water main from the street. However, that took hours and in the meantime water spread to adjoining homes. Our tipster reports that neighboring 123 Lefferts had over four feet of water in the basement. The Lefferts Hotel has been a problem on this block for years as we wrote back in 2010 after the vacate order was issued: “Back in 2006, after an undercover operation exposed extensive drug and prostitution activities going on behind those shaded windows, the hotel somehow managed to maintain enough leverage to negotiate a deal that enabled them to stay open as long as they switched from being a short-stay hotel to a long-term residential one and installed some surveillance cameras.” Does anyone have any more information on this most recent calamity?