Flooding Around 3rd/4th Aves?


    I’ve been considering houses in the Park Slope side of Gowanus. Specifically, around 9th-13th streets between 4th and 3rd avenues. Several people have mentioned flooding as a concern over there, but I don’t see any signs of it in the houses I’ve seen (though I understand they don’t have basements for this reason) — can anyone speak to this? Has anyone had trouble getting a mortgage or insurance b/c of this?


    9 Replies

    1. Juno106 and kls: I am elm100@mac.om

      kls – are you moving into the brick federal that century 21 listed? we could never get them to return our phone calls to even see the place! crazy. good luck to you with your move in, wherever it is!

      here is my main concern w.the blocks btwn 3/4: it is so nice and pristine ON the blocks, in the backyards, etc. but when you walk anywhere, you’re on 4th ave (assuming you’re ong up the hill) – very hard to have my 5 yr old on his bike, and can’t let my 2 yr old walk free, must have him in my arms or in the stroller, when we’re on the avenue. that seems stressful to me. i know they won’t always be so small, but it worries me in the meantime. what do you guys think about that?

      on the other hand – my son goes the The Children’s School at 1st/4th ave, so it would be super convenient in that way (and the little guy will presumable go there too, so years of a great commute to school and easy playdates for anyone who wants to come over . . .)

      i’d love your thoughts on living on these blocks. thanks so much!

    2. OP – Decent amount of kids, but it keeps increasing with each house that gets bought. I have only seen the block change for the better over the past 8 years. The only real con I can say is since the condo on the corner opened parking has gotten real tight. If you have any other questions, I would be happy to answer, just post your email address and I will reply.

    3. We just bought on 12th btwn 3rd and 4th avenue and had no problem getting homeowner’s insurance.

      We are moving in may and have 2 kids.. maybe we’ll see you on the block!

    4. thanks everyone – this is extremely helpful information.

      Juno106 – we’re looking at a house on your block! Anything you’d like to say pro/con about your block? Are there a lot of kids? (we have two) — we definitely want a block where people know each other, kids have playdates, etc. We used to livein a large apt building and miss our extended community . . .


    5. You can check the flood map on the FEMA website:

      They have various levels, depending on the risk of flooding over 100 years. The blue area has a risk above 1% per year (near certainty of flooding at least once per 100 year period.) That area covers most of the area between Bond, Baltic, Third avenue and the bay.
      If you are looking east of Third ave, it shouldn’t be too much of a recurring issue, but check the address to see the exact floodway border.

    6. I own an apartment in that vicinity. As far as I know I’ve had no problems getting a loan or insurance…though when shopping around for insurance there was one that didn’t cover that area, it may have been allstate.

    7. I live between 3rd and 4th and had only 1 problem with the storm drain overflowing in the back yard in an extremely heavy rain event. Problem was resolved with a drywell and re-grading and havent had a problem since.

      As far as a hurricane, storm surge would have to be over 25 feet to make it past third avenue – Very Very unlikely.

    8. I have lived on 12th between 3rd and 4th for 8 years and have not had a problem yet (I have a basement). Although that area is considered the bottom of the slope, those streets still slope downward further so any huge rain storms just move down the street. I think the real problem is if a huge hurricane ever does come (and experts say we are due) it is a flood zone as you are only a few blocks from the Gowanus canal. At one point Allstate insurance dropped us because of that. At this time though we have had no problem getting insurance from all the major carriers.

      See this old Brownstoner post: http://bstoner.wpengine.com/brownstoner/archives/2007/09/insurers_see_st.php

      This shows flood evacuation zones: