View Full Version : Hurricane Sandy--THE Perfect Storm?

October 26th, 2012, 05:29 PM
Good luck to all you in the path of this monster. It brushed the Florida Coast today and brought huge (6-10 ft) waves to the shore, seriously eroding the beaches in a few areas.The East Coast communities all got several inches of tropical rain, but Central Florida-- where I'm at-- got zip. Some wind and a lot of low, scuddy clouds, but nothing really serious.

Not so for the Northeast, I see...

All the Men With Maps predict that Sandy, massively bloated and getting stronger as it traverses northward off the E coast, will meet with a front that is currently over places like Ohio and KY, and early in the new week they will wrap around each other and join in a meteorlogical osmosis to create a brutal hurricane/ Nor'Easter right over the Megalopolis.
The resulting wind, rain, rising tides and potential blizzard will be memorable, if all goes to projections. Find some high ground and if you have a favorite tree, take a picture of it. It'll probably be gone come Wednesday.
It will make Florida's storm season seem punk.

I hope it peters out and defies the odds, but it will probably slam a few million people before it goes wherever killer storms go when they're done killing.

Good luck.

October 27th, 2012, 04:03 PM
Thanks Hof. See ya at the brighter end of the tunnel.

October 28th, 2012, 12:00 AM
4-8 foot storm surge forecast, and looks like the powerful thrust will jam right up through the Verrazano Narrows.

Get your rubbers out ...

October 28th, 2012, 05:30 AM
Well of course! It's Saturday night, after all...

October 28th, 2012, 10:11 AM
Good luck to all you in the path of this monster. .....

I hope it peters out and defies the odds, but it will probably slam a few million people before it goes wherever killer storms go when they're done killing.

Good luck.

Thanks for well-wishing; but since the time of you last post, the probability that this storm will arrive on our shores has increased considerably.

However, there is always a chance that in tha last hours the whole storm system can turn and blow out to sea over the Atlantic - which is exactly what happened with our most recent 'big storm' warning.

Thanks again HOF, always good to hear from you: best wishes to you and yours.

October 28th, 2012, 11:35 AM
No forecast model has this storm turning out to sea. Consensus is landfall in central New Jersey.

Because it's a late season hybrid cyclone, Hurricane Sandy has much in common with a cold-air driven Nor-easter.

Worse Than Irene? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-hurricane-sandy-will-be-much-worse-than-irene-2012-10-28?pagenumber=1)

October 28th, 2012, 02:03 PM
As a child the idea of hurricane force weather striking NYC seemed Hollywood fantasy.

Now it's happening every year it seems...

Time to build that barrier already, methinks.

October 28th, 2012, 04:44 PM
Are you in the evacuation zone, and if so will you go?
<iframe src="http://project.wnyc.org/news-maps/hurricane-zones/hurricane-zones.html" height="700" width="100%" scrolling="no" frameborder="0"></iframe>

October 28th, 2012, 05:56 PM
I'm sorry, but Hurricane "Sandy" is a pathetic name. Sounds like a cheap hooker.

October 28th, 2012, 06:12 PM

October 28th, 2012, 08:37 PM
Things are looking grim.
Again, good luck.

October 28th, 2012, 09:01 PM

October 29th, 2012, 12:49 AM
Record flooding coming tomorrow to NYC





and record for lowest pressure in the atmosphere ever observed by humans in the NorthEast in history:


October 29th, 2012, 12:26 PM
Yikes! :eek:

Time for a stroll over to the river (which by now might be a few blocks closer to home than usual) ...

October 29th, 2012, 12:57 PM
Red Hook ...

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mcnpsoUYNc1qanm80o1_500.jpg (http://shortformblog.com/image/34563042806)

imwithkanye (http://imwithkanye.tumblr.com/post/34562938793/waters-run-high-red-hook-brooklyn-is-flooded):

Waters Run High. Red Hook, Brooklyn is flooded. [via (https://twitter.com/HurricanePhotos/status/262909233593450497)]

Read more at http://shortformblog.com/post/34563042806/red-hook-flooded#0dYShTarU2Uhp7Mr.99

October 29th, 2012, 01:01 PM
Floods Of Hurricane Sandy As Seen Through The Eyes Of Twitter

These are images people instagrammed and tweeted as water quickly submerged many places along the East Coast.


October 29th, 2012, 08:30 PM
brooklyn battery tunnel:


October 29th, 2012, 09:32 PM
carousel at brooklyn bridge under water

Chelsea 8th ave at 14th Street, whole front of the building ripped off:


Don't take the PATH at Hoboken tonight:

Unknown NYC location:

shark pays a visit to a jersey house:

October 29th, 2012, 09:49 PM
CNN reporting New York Stock Exchange has 3 feet of water on the trading floor

October 29th, 2012, 09:50 PM
Power is out downtown:

October 29th, 2012, 09:53 PM
World Trade Center construction site floodgates open:


October 29th, 2012, 10:06 PM
First Avenue at 34th:

October 29th, 2012, 10:53 PM
ConEd station blows up on lower east side (look at around 0:24 and ALSO at 3:10):


October 30th, 2012, 12:00 PM
<script src="http://storify.com/buffyandrews/hurricane-sandy-photos-manhattan.js?template=slideshow"></script><noscript><a href="http://storify.com/buffyandrews/hurricane-sandy-photos-manhattan" target="_blank">View "undefined" on Storify</a></noscript>

or better here - http://storify.com/buffyandrews/hurricane-sandy-photos-manhattan/slideshow

October 30th, 2012, 12:09 PM
or better here - http://storify.com/buffyandrews/hurricane-sandy-photos-manhattan/slideshow









October 30th, 2012, 12:55 PM
Thanks GG, that kid with the goggles looks terrified. What a disaster here in NYC: thankfully very few people have been harmed - the infrastructure, with time, we can fix.

October 30th, 2012, 01:12 PM
Relatively speaking it's actually not too extreme of a disaster in NYC (except for Breezy Point). It's a huge water mess. I wouldn't be surprised if it took a couple weeks for all the subways to get back on line. This will be very expensive to clean up.

The South shore of Long Island is definitely a major disaster and the Jersey Shore got smashed very very badly

October 30th, 2012, 03:50 PM
On the news Feds reported it will be the costliest natural disaster in US history. All the catastrophic devastation I've seen so far, and everyone who's lived in certain areas for decades saying they haven't seen it this bad since the big '62 storm, my immediate neighborhood was incredibly lucky. Couple of downed trees and some siding ripped off, but no loss of power or water, and no roof leaks as in years past.

This morning a levee in Moonachie broke and they are still in the process of evacuating. Some NJ power companies reporting that some communities may not see power for weeks. Family in p/u truck in north Jersey driving along, for some reason the parents got out, a tree fell and killed them both and injured their two children. Man lying in bed killed by tree falling on house. I have a book titled 'Great Storms of the Jersey Shore', and the pictures we're seeing today, with entire towns under water, look the same as the pictures in that book of the storms from the '30s & '40s and '62. Sooner or later I'll see the familiar areal shot of the ocean meeting the bay down in LBI or the Seaside peninsula.

Blew me away seeing Manhattan in the dark, especially NYU Langone (backups failed) where a line of ambulances waited to evacuate the patients. Oh and there's this:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A6ddv0aCQAALHB0.jpg (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/A6ddv0aCQAALHB0.jpg)

That is a freight train on the NJ Turnpike!


October 30th, 2012, 03:53 PM
This is an excellent resource from google:

I like the "YouTube" option on the right

October 30th, 2012, 05:12 PM
Breezy Point Queens is the worst hit place in New York State, looks like the apocalypse over there:





October 30th, 2012, 08:00 PM
It certainly looks apocalyptic. Sooner or later some a-hole filmmaker will want to use it for a movie. The response should be "Sure, just give us what each of our homes were worth before the storm, and you can film all you want."

October 30th, 2012, 08:23 PM
It certainly looks apocalyptic. Sooner or later some a-hole filmmaker will want to use it for a movie. The response should be "Sure, just give us what each of our homes were worth before the storm, and you can film all you want."



October 30th, 2012, 09:34 PM
NYC apartment: flooding & 'burning'. via occupiedair blog.....

October 31st, 2012, 09:41 AM
"New York City's rats have arrived. In the wake of superstorm Sandy, residents of the city are soon likely to see them by the thousands, since the rodents have been driven from flooded subway tunnels"


October 31st, 2012, 10:28 AM
Ocean Parkway near Gilgo beach:


October 31st, 2012, 11:45 AM
Union Beach, NJ

http://i45.tinypic.com/k3r6r.jpg http://i49.tinypic.com/24g21br.jpg

October 31st, 2012, 12:42 PM
This is an MTA produced video of one of the newly restored downtown train stations that has been completely flooded .........


October 31st, 2012, 04:07 PM
Unbelievable pictures. Merry posted some also in the Photos Videos of NY thread too.

Bellevue Hospital now being evacuated. 500 patients.

When you look at the human side of this whole thing, its effects will reverberate years or even decades after all property has been rebuilt. This will be a major turning point in many people's lives. Even for those who haven't lost loved ones, it is like a death, and rebirth but not as the way they were.

October 31st, 2012, 04:39 PM
shark pays a visit to a jersey house:

Thats wild...

October 31st, 2012, 04:58 PM
Beware fake storm photos: as is the case with the shark pic below.


October 31st, 2012, 08:10 PM
The Lady Liberty pics with the Marilyn amalgam & the one where she's hiding behind her pedestal are priceless.

Some limited subway service restored above 42nd St, free buses running, NJ Path still out, but it looks like they're adding more every day.

October 31st, 2012, 09:23 PM

Aerial pics of the aftermath (pics 3, 5, & 20 are Seaside Heights where part of an amusement pier fell into the ocean, one of them was labeled incorrectly), also pic of the swath cut by the fire in Breezy Point, Queens:

And Sandy's unintended anthropology:


And this is just eerie:
SANDY'S AFTERMATH: FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES HERE - News, alerts, information as NYC recovers from storm of the century (http://live.nydailynews.com/Event/Tracking_Hurricane_Sandy_2)http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1195170.1351719507!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/index_970/new-skyline-banner.jpg (http://live.nydailynews.com/Event/Tracking_Hurricane_Sandy_2)Our News team has real-time coverage on Sandy's path of destruction. The storm barreled through New York knocking out power and turning the city's roads into rivers. Read more ... read full story » (http://live.nydailynews.com/Event/Tracking_Hurricane_Sandy_2)
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york#ixzz2AvkC47sn

November 1st, 2012, 06:17 AM
Beware fake storm photos: as is the case with the shark pic below.


The Statue of Liberty cowering behind her base is a good one :).

The "I Storm NY" one could also be seen as something else...

November 1st, 2012, 06:21 AM
Unbelievable pictures. Merry posted some also in the Photos Videos of NY thread too.

Suggestion to Mods: Perhaps merge the two threads?


November 1st, 2012, 08:15 PM

To volunteer. As of this morning, Staten Island borough president Jim Molinaro said the Red Cross hadn't been there yet, and people were walking into shelters without socks and shoes.


Volunteering your time

Updated Nov 1 at 1:45pm: The NYC Parks Department has put out a call for volunteers at parks in four of the five boroughs; here are the locations and links to sign up:

Staten Island (Courtesy of DNA Info)
►Staten (https://statenisland.recovers.org/) Island Recovers (https://statenisland.recovers.org/), another community recovery site, lists places that need support and supplies, as well as local sites that can provide emergency services.
Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20121031/new-york-city/how-you-can-help-victims-of-hurricane-sandy/slideshow/299130#ixzz2B1INieF6

Van Cortlandt Park
Orchard Beach
Click here (https://a002-oom03.nyc.gov/IRF/EventRegistration/RegForm.aspx?eventGuid=9e7d43df-1171-4b04-98b5-df01f1b8b210) to volunteer in the Bronx

Prospect Park
McCarren Park
Click here (https://a002-oom03.nyc.gov/IRF/EventRegistration/RegForm.aspx?eventGuid=dc7ce002-308a-4036-b5d4-d747b9c83742) to volunteer in Brooklyn

Happy Warrior Playground
Annunciation Park
Carl Schurz Park
Anne Loftus Playground (at Fort Tryon Park)
Randall’s Island (Friday and Saturday only)
Click here (https://a002-oom03.nyc.gov/IRF/EventRegistration/RegForm.aspx?eventGuid=997c0217-2ad4-46eb-8e2f-68781ffeb966) to volunteer in Manhattan

Queens (Friday and Saturday only)
Brookville Park
Baisley Pond Park
Click here (https://a002-oom03.nyc.gov/IRF/EventRegistration/RegForm.aspx?eventGuid=82a57a0e-7ab8-4c9f-a7c0-f5499367a916) to volunteer in Queens

Long Island


New Jersey


November 2nd, 2012, 01:04 AM
Ortley beach.... :(

11 years of work to fix the place up. They finally finished this year.....

Now my father is camped out on the other side of the closed bridge waiting to get in to have a look.

Further north, the island was cut in two at a bridge crossing point, joining the bay to the ocean.

This is so bad.

November 2nd, 2012, 11:34 AM
Good slide show here....mostly 'breezy point' and Long Island.


November 3rd, 2012, 05:13 AM
Could These Giant Plugs Have Prevented NYC Subways from Flooding During Hurricane Sandy?

by Yuka Yoneda


The Department of Homeland Security came up with these giant inflatable plugs as a way to stop terrorist attacks in underground tunnels, but to many New Yorkers who waited on bus lines for 2 hours today, they look like massive coulda, woulda, shouldas. It’s important to point out that the 32-by-16-foot plugs (http://news.discovery.com/tech/plug-prevented-subway-flooding-121101.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1) are just prototypes for now and, according to Department of Homeland Security project manager John Fortune, were not ready to be deployed at the time Hurricane Sandy hit New York City this week. Still, the plug’s developers feel that things could have been done differently to speed up the process, and everyone in New York of course, wishes they had.


If the plugs had been ready this week, they could have been placed in subway tunnels and inflated, keeping water out like enormous bathtub stoppers. Some at ILC Dover, the company that manufactures the plugs, felt that if more had been done to get the plugs to a usable stage, they could have been used to stop flooding in NYC subway tunnels this week. “We’ve proved that these plugs can hold back water,” said Dave Cadogan of ILC Dover, which also makes spacesuits and blimp bodies. “I wish we had moved a little bit faster as a team and had gotten this development done.”

Cagodan is referring to a test that was performed in January, where the Department of Homeland Security used a 16-foot diameter prototype to hold back pressurized water in a test tunnel in Morgantown, West Virginia. They are planning to run a similar test to demonstrate the plug’s reliability next week.

The existing 32″ x 16″ plugs can hold 35,000 gallons of water and developers told CNN that if they’d been placed at the end of some of the tunnels under the East River, could have prevented water from gushing into the subway system. However, they also added that the plugs wouldn’t have been able to control water coming through other sources like porous underground subway stations. And the bottom line is that while we certainly wish the Department of Homeland Security had foreseen their possible use as flood barriers, the plugs just weren’t ready yet.

But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be ready for the next time NYC faces a super storm like Sandy, because in all likelihood, it will.


November 3rd, 2012, 05:49 AM
Insight: Flooded New York plans to tame the sea, but who pays?

1:13am EDT
By Greg Roumeliotis (http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=Greg.Roumeliotis)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - When Jeroen Aerts, a Dutchman tasked with crafting a plan to defend New York City from flooding, first looked at its coastline seven years ago, he was taken aback by how vulnerable it was.

Unlike some of the other large cities around the world, such as London and Amsterdam, that have comprehensive flood defense systems with levees and storm surge barriers, New York was completely at the mercy of the elements.

"I was looking at the water and wondering - where are the levees?" said Aerts, a professor of environmental risk management at the VU University in Amsterdam and an adviser to New York City. "Nobody was doing anything on flood risk."

As the devastation after super storm Sandy this week made all too clear, little progress has been made since Aerts first looked at the Atlantic Ocean from New York's shores. The storm caused widespread flooding, power outages, travel chaos and left more than 40 people dead in New York City. Early estimates predict it also caused up to $18 billion in economic losses in New York state alone.

New York state and city officials have started talking about the need for a comprehensive flood defense system, but many obstacles remain. According to Aerts' top estimate, it could cost as much as $29 billion to build and implement. The question of who will pay for it remains unresolved.

Most comprehensive proposals for storm surge defenses involve a system of two to four barriers, each spanning from a third of a mile to six miles and towering about 30 feet above sea level. This is to be supplemented by levees, dikes, bulkheads and beach strengthening.

One of the most prominent plans calls for a 0.84-mile East River storm surge barrier from Whitestone in Queens to Throgs Neck Bridge in the Bronx, and a much longer 5.92-mile Outer Harbor barrier linking Sandy Hook in New Jersey to the Rockaway Peninsula in Long Island.

Aerts estimates storm surge barriers could cost between $10 billion to $17 billion, while additional defenses such as levees and adding sand to eroding beaches could cost another $10 billion to $12 billion.

Even if the city were to find that kind of money, an infrastructure project on such a scale can take more than eight years to build, which means New Yorkers would be exposed to the fury of any such storm in the meantime.

As shown in the past week, the city's current strategy is to take precautions - such as evacuations from areas that flood easily - then take the hit and try to recover as best as it can.

"The city's approach is something that they call 'resilience'. If they are hit by a storm and they have flooding there will be damage but after the storm they can clean up... kind of repairing the damage after it's happening, bouncing back," said Malcolm Bowman, an oceanography professor at Long Island's Stony Brook University. "Obviously it is not enough."

New York City and state officials did not respond to a request for comment on the question of flood barriers. A city spokesperson also did not respond to a request to comment on the significance of Aerts's role. The city will occasionally tap advisers to carry out research.
To many New Yorkers, Sandy's destruction came as a shock. But to scientists, engineers, environmentalists and public officials, this was a tragedy waiting to happen. A 2007 study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ranked greater New York second among the world's large port cities most exposed to coastal flooding based on the value of their property.

"People have said for many years - specifically since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans - that New York City was prone to such a super storm," New York City Comptroller John Liu said on Thursday.

Still it took Hurricane Irene in August last year for the city to seriously start exploring a flood plan, according to Aerts, who said the city asked him to develop a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis for a flood strategy.

After Sandy, the momentum behind such a plan is set to build. Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York state, said this week that infrastructure will need to be re-examined and reinforced.
But it is not clear how New York will pay for it, and it may well take an act of Congress to prevent the next act of God from bringing the world's financial center to its knees again.
"We have to weigh our damages against the cost of building such a levee system," said Liu.

On paper, New York City has the capacity to borrow more to spend on infrastructure. The latest relevant report from Comptroller Liu's office projects the city to be $18.28 billion below its general debt limit by July 2013 and $18.74 billion by July 2014.

"I don't see tight debt capacity as a hurdle down the road," said George Friedlander, chief municipal strategist at Citigroup Inc.
But the city's government is likely to be loath to jeopardize its strong credit in the municipal bond markets. It will have to clinch a deal with the state, the federal government, as well as other states vested in this, particularly New Jersey, at a time when relations between Democrats and Republicans are highly polarized.

"When we saved New York City from bankruptcy thirty years ago, Governor (Hugh) Carey got people together and made them understand they were better off talking to each other," said Wall Street veteran Felix Rohatyn, currently a special adviser to Kenneth M. Jacobs, CEO at the Lazard investment bank. "I'm worried this is something we cannot do today."


Federal money may prove key to any major flood protection program. This would mean negotiating funds with Congress rather than relying on the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which reimburses states and cities for recovery projects. And getting that kind of money is going to be increasingly difficult given the lack of consensus in Washington on how to handle the U.S. government's large budget deficit and soaring debt.

"We have to get a long-term commitment from the federal government to put money up, which can be contingent on the state and local governments producing a significant match," said former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

Rendell, a major advocate of private sector involvement in infrastructure finance, argued that public-private partnerships could be part of the funding mix for such projects.
Even though something like levees would be not be revenue-generating, private ownership or management was still an option, said Raj Agrawal, head of infrastructure for North America at investment firm KKR & Co LP.

"If you get this under private ownership or private operation, you can certainly raise more capital than you could in the bond market by getting a capital infusion of funds from a private party," he said.


In Europe, the Delta Works in the Netherlands, as well as the Thames Barrier in Britain, were both kicked off after the North Sea Flood of 1953 and are early examples of how major storms can result in significant infrastructure investments.

The United States has not always been quick off the mark in erecting such defenses. Storm surge barriers off Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts were constructed in the 1960s as a result of a hurricane in 1938, said Graeme Forsyth, a technical director at engineering consultancy Halcrow.

"The design may take two years, the construction might take six, and the rest of it is more to do with getting the ball rolling politically, getting the funding in place and all that kind of thing," said Forsyth, whose firm is behind a storm surge barrier for St. Petersburg, Russia, that cost $6.9 billion.

Still, construction of the storm surge barrier in New Orleans was completed in 2011 - just six years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.

"My experience in other countries with this kind of project is that these are political decisions. If the population is in favor of it, then a politician will say we'll go for it. ... Now we have momentum," said Aerts.

Some skeptics argue that barriers and other large-scale infrastructure projects are not cost-effective because they protect only specific areas.

"There is too much coastline. In a funny kind of way you can protect one area at the expense of another. I don't think huge capital infrastructure like that is going to be constructive," said Steven Cohen, a professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

Aerts, though, says he is producing an estimate for the cost of barriers to give to the city's government.

"In the short-term you can look at existing building codes to make sure that they are maintained. In the longer term, the barriers come into play," Aerts said.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Additional reporting by Hilary Russ in New York; Editing by Paritosh Bansal, Martin Howell, Doina Chiacu)

© Thomson Reuters 2011. All rights reserved.

November 3rd, 2012, 08:22 PM
Manhattan with Brooklyn and Queens

The MTA released photos on its Flickr account page showing how they are using a ‘pump train’ to remove some 30 inches of water from the A/C train’s Cranberry Street Tunnel and the E/M train’s 53rd Street Tunnel, which connect Manhattan with Brooklyn and Queens.

By Victoria Cavaliere

Leonard Wiggins/MTA New York City Transit
New York City Transit employees pump water out of the Cranberry Street Tunnel, which carries the A and C trains between Brooklyn and Manhattan underneath the East River.

Leonard Wiggins/MTA New York City Transit
The 'pump train' siphons water out of the Cranberry Street Tunnel.

Leonard Wiggins/MTA New York City Transit
As service is restored, crews must examine 600 miles of track and the electrical systems throughout the system.


November 3rd, 2012, 11:23 PM
My walk Friday night from GCT to the village.


November 4th, 2012, 07:36 AM
That is one terrific set of photos, thanks Bingo. Every photo so clear, crisp, and intimate: 'almost' like a being there.

November 5th, 2012, 05:23 AM
In Sight of Manhattan Skyline, Living Forlorn and in the Dark



Watching the Manhattan skyline shimmer over Jamaica Bay had always been one of the charms of life in the Rockaways. But now, when the Empire State Building winks on each night, those lights feel almost like a punch in the gut.

It felt that way to the two women caked in the sandy silt that still blankets most streets here, as they trudged up Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Saturday, pushing shopping carts they had dug out of wreckage piled beside the boarded-up C-Town Supermarket.

The women, Monique Arkward and her neighbor Eyvette Martin, pushed the carts more than 40 blocks from their battered bungalows to St. Francis de Sales Church, where they had heard — by word of mouth, since phones hardly work here — that they might find bottled water, batteries and some measure of warmth.

“We’re living like cavemen,” Ms. Arkward said. “It’s like we’re forgotten. It’s like they say, ‘O.K., when we get to them, we’ll get to them.’ ”

The Rockaways, a narrow peninsula of working-class communities in Queens, have become one of the epicenters for the simmering sense of abandonment felt in still-darkened areas of New York City, and out into the suburbs and beyond, including large swaths of New Jersey and Long Island, where the lack of power was made more problematic by persistent gas shortages.

Around the city, particularly in places already sensitive to the afterthought status conveyed in the Manhattan-centric characterization “outer boroughs,” the accusations of neglect seemed colored by a growing belief that the recovery from Hurricane Sandy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/h/hurricanes_and_tropical_storms/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) has cleaved along predictable class lines. That sentiment was captured in a much-publicized street-corner confrontation (http://www.ny1.com/content/politics/political_news/171774/mayor-greeted-by-upset-residents-in-rockaway-beach) over the weekend when residents shrieked their frustrations at Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as he visited the Rockaways on Saturday.

“It’s all about Manhattan,” said Nora McDermott, who lives in the Rockaways, as she stood in a relief center on Saturday. “It was unbelievable, to see Manhattan get power,” she said. “Was I surprised they got it quicker? Not really. But I was like, ‘Damn.’ ”

Echoes of that thought abounded in places like Red Hook in Brooklyn, Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn, and New Dorp Beach on Staten Island, where thousands are struggling to rebuild their lives without electricity — and, residents insisted with growing vehemence, sufficient help from leaders — even as the rest of the city powers up and moves on.

At the Red Hook Houses, a public housing complex of nearly 3,000 apartments, power was still out on Sunday.

For almost a week now, Mario Davila, 64, who is in a wheelchair and lives on the third floor of one building, has eased his way downstairs for cigarettes and food from Meals on Wheels, a step at a time, one hand on the railing and one on his chair, and then waited for his brother to help him crawl back up. Across the East River, he knew, the elevators were once again ferrying passengers.

Mr. Davila said he wished they were as lucky as those residents.

As the storm sent the waters of Shell Bank Creek on the westernmost edge of Jamaica Bay overflowing into Gerritsen Beach last Monday night, Jennifer Avena, 35, and her three children and Labrador mix swam nearly 10 blocks through chest-deep water to refuge at Resurrection Church.

A week later, she still felt on her own, as she photographed the contents of her house on Sunday, throwing out each destroyed item.

Her own neighbors, Ms. Avena said, were the few who were helping.

Tensions also remained high across Staten Island, where the storm’s impact was particularly deadly and where criticism of the official response has been vocal. Though electricity had been restored to 160,000 customers, according to Consolidated Edison, another 19,000 remained without power.

“We’ve made good progress,” said John Miksad, Con Ed’s senior vice president for electric operations. “But I know for those 19,000 customers that are still out, it’s misery.”

In New Dorp Beach, mounds — some as high as 10 feet — of debris, vintage dolls, mattresses, photographs, teddy bears and Christmas decorations piled outside nearly every home on Sunday, awaiting dump trucks. The roar of generators filled the air.

John Ryan, 47, had salvaged just two books from his collection. He bristled at the mayor’s assertion that the city is edging back to normalcy. “It’s completely unrealistic,” Mr. Ryan said. “I think he should go house to house and see what the war zone is like.”

But down the block, Orlando Vogler, 26, had a different sentiment. As he stood next to a bonfire fueled by pieces of his destroyed furniture, he said that the situation had improved over the weekend. “It’s finally starting to come together,” he said. “Now you see hundreds of volunteers coming down the street.”

In New Jersey, Matt Doherty, the mayor of Belmar, described the conditions as “third world.” He said the borough of roughly 6,000 year-round residents was in need of more blankets and “heavy duty” clothing.

“We’re in the Dark Ages here. It’s really back to basics,” he said Sunday. “It’s almost like camping outside in November. People are doubled up in blankets, sweaters, sweatshirts, socks. Residents are living in their living rooms, sleeping in front of their fireplaces.”

Every one of the over 115,000 residents of the Rockaways and Broad Channel is still without power, according to the Long Island Power Authority, which services those areas. And it will be several more days before the seawater-soaked substations along the Rockaway Peninsula are repaired or a workaround is in place. The substations power neighborhoods like Belle Harbor and Breezy Point, a community largely of firefighters and police officers where over 110 houses burned down on Monday night.

But even once the substations are repaired, each flooded house must be certified on a case-by-case basis by a licensed electrician before it is deemed safe to flip the switch, said Lois Bentivegna, a LIPA spokeswoman.

Even though some residents acknowledged the risks of living along the ocean, the contrast between Manhattan’s thrumming power lines and the snail’s pace of recovery was hard to bear.

At an American Legion hall in Broad Channel, Paul Girace, 66, stewed as he ate a meal of bow-tie pasta and canned beans provided by relief workers on Saturday.

“They got electricity already?” Mr. Girace said. “It’s par for the course. Who is the population of Manhattan? The wealthy people. Who screams in Bloomberg’s ear? The wealthy people.”

George Wright, 61, agreed. “You know Manhattan is going to get turned on first, because let’s face it, this city operates from Manhattan,” he said. “They can dry that out and get it going.

Over here, it got ripped to pieces.”

Near Shore Front Parkway, Bobbi Cooke, 51, and her sister Gwen Murphy, 62, who are caring for their disabled sister in a darkened apartment, had run through their stash of lighters, batteries and candles.

Without electricity, Ms. Cooke said, they could not use A.T.M.’s to get money to buy what little food was available.

But what she said she was most desperate for were answers.

“Since the day it happened, and afterwards, we’ve all had to fend for our selves,” Ms. Cooke said. “We need to know when we’re going to have gas, light, electric. Everywhere is getting something but us.”

“We’re totally knocked out of the world,” she said.

Ms. Murphy joined in. “We’re like an orphan,” she said. “It’s like we don’t even exist.”


November 5th, 2012, 09:58 AM

November 5th, 2012, 12:33 PM
A bit of where my folks have a place down at "Ortley Beach"


November 5th, 2012, 02:29 PM
NH, on News12NJ today it was reported that NJ residents of the barrier islands and peninsula, will be allowed back today and tomorrow, between 8-3 to retrieve personal items, documents, etc. No children, no pets, and first you have to register at a temporary center on the mainland, which for Ortley I'm pretty sure is Brick. Provide proof of residence, license, whatever, & they give you a placard for your windshield. After those two days, no one will be allowed back for 6-8 months, because they have to repair or replace gas lines. That doesn't even include rebuilding. Damn.

I saw a before/after pic yesterday of the peninsula, down the center which, like a spine, runs Rte 35, the only uninterrupted road all the way down to IBSP. The foot of the Mantoloking bridge that was wiped out, runs into Rte 35 which was also washed out, so besides Rte 37 over the bridge, there is no other way in. Every time I think I've seen the worst of it, more pops up. Just unbelievable.

November 5th, 2012, 03:26 PM

I will pass the information on to my parents.

November 5th, 2012, 04:37 PM

OMG what a great story!

Amazing story of survival after Toms River man leaves ‘farewell’ note

By Ron Recinto | The Lookout (http://wirednewyork.com/blogs/lookout/;_ylt=Aq5YvbcEOzToYrav6LKI4h2ZCMZ_;_ylu=X3oDMTFiN2 pzZDVyBG1pdANBcnRpY2xlIEhlYWQEcG9zAzEEc2VjA01lZGlh QXJ0aWNsZUhlYWQ-;_ylg=X3oDMTMzZW11MGlhBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRw c3RhaWQDZjFlOTU5YWYtZTdjZS0zYzAzLWI1OWUtYjQxNTY4NW I5N2Y0BHBzdGNhdANibG9nc3x0aGVsb29rb3V0BHB0A3N0b3J5 cGFnZQ--;_ylv=3) – 4 hrs ago

A Toms River, N.J., man who didn't think he would survive Sandy's storm surge, broke into a stranger's house and left a farewell note asking her to "tell my Dad I love him."
Thankfully the letter writer, identified only as Mike, was reunited with his father, Tony. And both will have a lifetime to retell his tale of survival.
So will Christine Treglia, who found this unsettling note when she returned home, which she had evacuated before the storm:
Who ever reads this I'm DIEING — I'm 28 yrs old my name is Mike. I had to break in to your house. I took blankets off the couch. I have hypothermia. I didn't take any thing. A wave thru me out of my house down the block. I don't think I'm going to make it. The water outside is 10ft deep at least. There's no res[c]ue.
Tell my dad I love him and I tryed get[t]ing out. His number is ###-###-#### his name is Tony. I hope u can read this I'm in the dark. I took a black jacket too. Goodbye. God all mighty help me.

Treglia posted this response on Facebook (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=AiIuq_GSZBYq1Z_XxrdD_F6ZCMZ_;_ylu=X3oDMTFka3B kYnE0BG1pdANCbG9nIEJvZHkEcG9zAzEEc2VjA01lZGlhQmxvZ 0JvZHlBc3NlbWJseQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTMzZW11MGlhBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRw c3RhaWQDZjFlOTU5YWYtZTdjZS0zYzAzLWI1OWUtYjQxNTY4NW I5N2Y0BHBzdGNhdANibG9nc3x0aGVsb29rb3V0BHB0A3N0b3J5 cGFnZQ--;_ylv=0/SIG=11vh23p7c/EXP=1353360670/**http%3A//www.facebook.com/christine.marie.904) along with a link to the story (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=AgROi6BoHPVWsxLsxpE6HQ.ZCMZ_;_ylu=X3oDMTFkZWg zYnZwBG1pdANCbG9nIEJvZHkEcG9zAzIEc2VjA01lZGlhQmxvZ 0JvZHlBc3NlbWJseQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTMzZW11MGlhBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRw c3RhaWQDZjFlOTU5YWYtZTdjZS0zYzAzLWI1OWUtYjQxNTY4NW I5N2Y0BHBzdGNhdANibG9nc3x0aGVsb29rb3V0BHB0A3N0b3J5 cGFnZQ--;_ylv=0/SIG=12ng8n766/EXP=1353360670/**http%3A//wobm.com/an-amazing-story-of-survival-from-toms-river-audio/) about the note:
"This was my house that Mike found refuge in. We found this letter and 2 others in our home along with "help me" signs posted to our windows. We called immediately and were so relieved that Mike was safe and made his way home."

In an interview with Justin Louis of WOBM radio (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=Ag27H.HIXTh44H1q8jcd0VKZCMZ_;_ylu=X3oDMTFkNWJ 1MDBuBG1pdANCbG9nIEJvZHkEcG9zAzMEc2VjA01lZGlhQmxvZ 0JvZHlBc3NlbWJseQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTMzZW11MGlhBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRw c3RhaWQDZjFlOTU5YWYtZTdjZS0zYzAzLWI1OWUtYjQxNTY4NW I5N2Y0BHBzdGNhdANibG9nc3x0aGVsb29rb3V0BHB0A3N0b3J5 cGFnZQ--;_ylv=0/SIG=12ng8n766/EXP=1353360670/**http%3A//wobm.com/an-amazing-story-of-survival-from-toms-river-audio/), Mike, who still seemed amazed by his ordeal, shared the story behind his frantic note.
He said he was at his home in the Green Island community of Toms River when his kitchen was swept away, so he walked out of his house and was swept up in the current. He said he was pulled a half-mile into the bay and then spent about four hours trying to swim back home.
"Well, the current took me to somewhere, which I didn't even know where I was, and it threw me back into the bay. And I tried to swim back to my house for some reason," Mike said. "You know, sometimes you don't think."
He said he ended up across the bay at "some lady's house."
"She had towels on the couch. I just wrapped my body with the towels. ... I was so thirsty because I drank so much salt water. I didn't think I was gonna make it."
He penned the note in the dark.

"I just wanted to have that note to tell my father I tried. You know, I wasn't a baby about it. I tried, I did my thing." Mike told WOBM.
"I was swimming for so long. ... I was so cold, I thought I was just going to freeze right there," he said, "But that lady, I felt like for some reason, she knew someone was going to be in that house. She had these wool blankets all over the place. And I just wrapped myself in them."
After a few hours inside in the dark, Mike ventured back out into the waters.
"In the street there was about eight feet of water, and I'm like, I ain't dying like this, after all this, I ain't dying like this."
He said he was picked up by someone named Frank on a personal watercraft. Frank took in Mike and warmed him by a gas stove and gave him hot chocolate.

On Facebook, "Frank" Vicendese of Green Island (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=AqDPytQ52wW7Hf6tgtUz6gWZCMZ_;_ylu=X3oDMTFkMmF zbGIwBG1pdANCbG9nIEJvZHkEcG9zAzQEc2VjA01lZGlhQmxvZ 0JvZHlBc3NlbWJseQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTMzZW11MGlhBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRw c3RhaWQDZjFlOTU5YWYtZTdjZS0zYzAzLWI1OWUtYjQxNTY4NW I5N2Y0BHBzdGNhdANibG9nc3x0aGVsb29rb3V0BHB0A3N0b3J5 cGFnZQ--;_ylv=0/SIG=11rjb802f/EXP=1353360670/**http%3A//www.facebook.com/gucci.vicendese) writes of Mike, "He was very thankful to be alive and warm, also very emotional after warming up by my stove after it started to sink in what happened."
Mike's journey took him to a friend's house in Kettle Creek, and then his dad came and picked him up. "I told my dad when I got home, you follow me" wherever I go, he said.
Mike says in his conversation with Treglia he apologized for entering her home and said, "There was money on the table, I didn't take nothing. I just took something that would keep me warm."
Treglia did not respond to a request for an interview.
Louis of WOBM told Yahoo News he wanted to initially ensure the incident was a not a hoax so he called the number on the note.
"At first it went straight to voice mail," Louis said. "But I had this feeling I should give it one more shot."
When Louis called Tony's number, the happy father said, "That's my son Mike!"
"He seems like a typical down-to-earth, mid-20s guy who is still pretty shaken up," Louis said of Mike after their interview.
Some people on social media have called Mike's survival a miracle.
He may not believe he stole anything during his ordeal. But certainly he was given a most valuable gift—his life.
To be honest with you, I'm afraid of the dark now. I was in the dark for so long with at least 15 to 20 foot waves that with the bay crashing over me. I couldn't even breathe.
I told my dad when I got home, you follow me everywhere you go.
Mike says in his conversation with Treglia he apologized for entering her home and said, "There was money on the table, I didn't take nothing. I just took something that would keep me warm."
Treglia did not respond to a request for an interview.
Louis of WOBM told Yahoo News he wanted to initially ensure the incident was a not a hoax so he called the number on the note.
"At first it went straight to voice mail," Louis said. "But I had this feeling I should give it one more shot."
When Louis called Tony's number, the happy father said, "That's my son Mike!"
"He seems like a typical down-to-earth, mid-20s guy who is still pretty shaken up," Louis said of Mike after their interview.
Some people on social media have called Mike's survival a miracle.
He may not believe he stole anything during his ordeal. But certainly he was given a most valuable gift—his life.
To be honest with you, I'm afraid of the dark now. I was in the dark for so long with at least 15 to 20 foot waves that with the bay crashing over me. I couldn't even breathe.
I told my dad when I got home, you follow me everywhere you go.

Mike says in his conversation with Treglia he apologized for entering her home and said, "There was money on the table, I didn't take nothing. I just took something that would keep me warm."
Treglia did not respond to a request for an interview.
Louis of WOBM told Yahoo News he wanted to initially ensure the incident was a not a hoax so he called the number on the note.
"At first it went straight to voice mail," Louis said. "But I had this feeling I should give it one more shot."
When Louis called Tony's number, the happy father said, "That's my son Mike!"

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/amazing-story-survival-toms-river-man-leaves-farewell-165046433.html (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/amazing-story-survival-toms-river-man-leaves-farewell-165046433.html)
http://us.bc.yahoo.com/b?P=9.Ch42KLPnDRIuGzUJgvbgAgYt23L1CYMB4ABBtK&T=1d70ppmad%2fX%3d1352151070%2fE%3d2143684761%2fR% 3dnews%2fK%3d5%2fV%3d3.1%2fW%3dJ%2fY%3dYAHOO%2fF%3 d3089956558%2fH%3dX2lkPSJmMWU5NTlhZi1lN2NlLTNjMDMt YjU5ZS1iNDE1Njg1Yjk3ZjQiIGNhbl9zdXBwcmVzc191Z2M9Ij EiIHJlZnVybD0icmVmdXJsX3d3d195YWhvb19jb20iIHJzPSJs bXNpZDphMDc3MDAwMDAwQ0ZvR3lBQUwiIHNlcnZlSWQ9IjkuQ2 g0MktMUG5EUkl1R3pVSmd2YmdBZ1l0MjNMMUNZTUI0QUJCdEsi IHNpdGVJZD0iNDQ2NDA1MSIgdFN0bXA9IjEzNTIxNTEwNzAzNT I2NTYiIA--%2fQ%3d-1%2fS%3d1%2fJ%3d97D8C343http://csc.beap.bc.yahoo.com/yi?bv=1.0.0&bs=(136rjo8um(gid$9.Ch42KLPnDRIuGzUJgvbgAgYt23L1CY MB4ABBtK,st$1352151070352656,si$4464051,sp$2143684 761,pv$1,v$2.0))&t=J_3-D_3

November 5th, 2012, 09:15 PM
NH, I'm sorry to hear about the upset to your family. My brother's family -- he & his wife, her brother and his wife -- lost two adjacent houses there as well. They burnt to the ground when fire and rescue could not enter due to flooding. The area had been evacuated, so no one was hurt. One of the houses had been in the family since 1938, so a lot of memories are tied to the place. My sister-in-law was in tears when I spoke to her on the phone the other night.

November 6th, 2012, 04:23 AM
Sounds good.

Architecture For Humanity Begins Recovery Work On East Coast

by Carren Jao

http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/hurricane-sandy-breezy-point-aerial-550x366.jpg (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/hurricane-sandy-breezy-point-aerial.jpg)
Devastation in Breezy Point, Queens (CNBC)

As the northeast is slowly getting back on its feet, non-profit Architecture for Humanity (http://architectureforhumanity.org) is already commencing its plans for rebuilding and recovery. While it’s still early, the organization, which is partnering with AIA chapters in the hardest hit regions, is starting first with impact assessment. Generally working in hard hit areas around the world, this is the first time their New York chapter has had to respond locally, pointed out Jennifer Dunn, New York Chapter Leader. AFH is not only looking to re-build, but to re-build better. “We don’t just want to help build back the coastline but create more resilient communities that can withstand future disasters,” said co-founder Cameron Sinclair in a statement.

Architecture for Humanity is looking for support in the form of donations or volunteers. Donations can be made online here (http://architectureforhumanity.org/donate/form?program=Hurricane%20Sandy%20Reconstruction), while volunteers should email volunteer@architectureforhumanity.org. Flood repair strategies are posted here (http://architectureforhumanity.org/updates/2012-11-02-flood-repair-strategiesupdated). Further updates will appear on the Architecture for Humanity website as soon as they are available.


November 6th, 2012, 04:26 AM
Sounds good.


Does NOT sound good :mad: :rolleyes:.

Power equipment continues to sit in Central Park days after marathon canceled

Dan Brinzac
At least five generators still remain in Central park after the New York City Marathon was canceled last Friday.

What a run-around!

The city left more than a dozen generators and other pieces of heavy equipment -- desperately needed by cold and hungry New Yorkers who lost their homes to Hurricane Sandy -- still stranded in Central Park yesterday and this morning.

Five light towers, that can expand up to 30 feet in the air, were sitting unused on the east side of Central Park near 72nd Street today, as horrified passersby demanded to know why the equipment hadn’t been deployed to devastated neighborhoods.

The towers are owned by the New York City Parks & Recreation Department and a leasing company, which identified their machines as rented to the New York Road Runners.

“People could really use this equipment right now,” said Upper West Side resident Jamie Traffert, 29, as she jogged by the unused light stands.

“Well it’s not doing anyone any good around here. Seeing how there are still blackouts in parts of the city, it makes no sense to let them go to waste [here].”

There were 115,000 New York power customers still in the dark today, compared to 145,000 yesterday, according to Mayor Bloomberg.

“It's still a lot of people without power,” the mayor conceded.

Stashed near the finish line of the canceled marathon yesterday were 20 heaters, tens of thousands of Mylar “space” blankets, jackets, 106 crates of apples and peanuts, at least 14 pallets of bottled water and 22 five-gallon jugs of water.

Dan Brinzac
Portable lights sit in Central Park today.

This while people who lost their homes in the Rockaways, Coney Island and Staten Island were freezing and going hungry.

Michael Murphy, of Staten Island, who had no power and no heat, said yesterday: “We needed 100 percent of the resources here.”

“If those generators were here, we maybe could have had some light for the cleanup effort,” he said. “Those generators would really have come in handy.’’

Larry Gold, 61, of Rockaway Park, who has difficulty breathing, can’t use his oxygen tank without electricity.

“I need power to breathe,’’ he said.

Mayor Bloomberg today admitted that some generators might have been left behind this weekend. But he assured New Yorkers that all available equipment would be put to use immediately.

“I’m not looking at any one generator,” Bloomberg said.

“We needed a 100-plus generators. We believe that we either have them, or that they’re on their way -- some provided by the Army Corps of Engineers, some provided by FEMA, some provided by private contractors, some that the city had.”

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/power_equipment_continues_marathon_iHlKX36iYhg2MpK AQ8LiZJ?utm_medium=rss&utm_content=Local

November 8th, 2012, 02:31 PM

I knew this would happen, and sadly I think Bloomie knew it too.

Unfortunately, he can't say "even if we cancelled, this stuff will never get there because of these slow moving idiots, yadda yadda yadda...". It would be the truth, but good luck getting ANYTHING out of the "idiots" later.

November 8th, 2012, 08:15 PM
:mad: I'm sure there are more than a few civilians that would happily make the trek to the Park to retrieve those generators at their own expense. Dammit just get some of those homes humming again. Especially those with illnesses, and the elderly.

They are now saying that in SI, they no longer need coats and clothing, but what they do need is:

Cleaning supplies, including brooms, mops, etc., as well as bleach and other disinfectants
Garbage bags
Women's sanitary products
(My guess) Diapers and other baby products

Also volunteers to help clean up

November 10th, 2012, 08:35 AM
Tomorrow is Veterans Day.

Team Rubicon (http://teamrubiconusa.org/)

Doctors Without Borders (http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/) is also in the area.

November 10th, 2012, 09:27 AM
Wb, Zip!

November 13th, 2012, 04:21 AM
The Free Republic of the Rockaways

Where the storm never ends, anarchy reigns, and people find their own ways to survive.

By Mark Jacobson

In the immediate run-up to the presidential election, there was much punditry as to what effect Hurricane Sandy would have on the outcome. Could it be that God, usually thought of as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party, by virtue of His impish sense of humor, had decided to withhold the presidency from the Mormon asset column? After years of skulduggery and billions in super-PAC spending, the storm was throwing a last-minute monkey wrench into the race. Yet out here in Rockaway, New York’s hurricane epicenter, November 6 was not merely the thankful culmination of the desultory exercise of whatever is left of American democracy. It was Day Nine of the Sandy epoch, a wholly new kind of time.

It is a continuum that invents its own progressive reality, as witnessed by the ever-growing trash pile in the Jacob Riis Park parking lot. Giant dump trucks were lined up in front of the old bathhouse built by Jimmy Walker in 1932 for “the recreation of all New Yorkers,” ready to deposit their loads. Each truck was piled high with 36 cubic yards of what used to be people’s worldly possessions. With each cubic yard weighing 600 to 700 pounds and the drivers averaging four runs each day, that added up to slightly over 100,000 pounds, or 50 tons per truck per day (they’ve collected nearly 480 million pounds so far). There was plenty more to pick up, as revealed by a drive across the peninsula’s ethnic full spectrum, from Breezy Point’s cop-and-fireman gated paradise in the west, to the diverse old-school nabe around Beach 116th, out to Far Rock’s hard-knock world in the east. When the moon and the tides conspire to send fifteen feet of ocean water smashing across a less-than-a-mile strip of sand to meet a near-equal torrent from the bay, treasure can become trash in an instant. The lot behind the apartment houses at Beach 105th Street was filled with a hundred vehicles aimed at crazy angles like a freeze-framed *bumper-car ride.

They’d never go again. And even if they could, there was no gas, of course. Not that this was any fault of a Far Rockaway resident named Sadiq. Originally from Georgetown, Guyana, Sadiq had spent the better part of the previous weekend trying to import a large quantity of what he called “motion lotion” in 55-gallon drums from Scranton, Pennsylvania. “I thought I would be the big-time petrol black marketeer. But we had a lot of leakage. Our drums were faulty.” Originally, Sadiq planned to sell his gas for $20 a gallon, but had second thoughts. He felt ashamed and couldn’t bring himself to “take advantage.” He wound up giving the fuel away to fellow livery-car drivers, most of whom had spent the week waiting in endless lines on the other side of the Marine Parkway bridge.

“Still no heat, no power, no ATM, no food in the store, no A train to get off the island, perpetual cold and darkness, no word when any of it will change,” said Almamy Seray-Wurie, summing up the situation as he waited at the Conch Playground on Beach 49th Street for what he called “the daily handout” of box lunches, clothing, Pampers, and bright-blue Marathon Recovery Bags left over from the canceled road race. At least he is used to it, said Almamy, who now lives in the former Edgemere projects after fleeing the decadelong civil war in his home country of Sierra Leone. “I am a refugee. I am accustomed to waiting in lines.”

This didn’t mean Day Nine of Sandy Time was exactly like Day Eight. Natural disasters work on a separate calendar, depending on the degree of the damage caused and the type of people affected. As the aftermath of Katrina demonstrated, help and mercy are not always meted out equally. In 1970, half a million people died in the Bhola Cyclone and all they got was George Harrison and the Concert for Bangladesh. On that account, Rockaway, a.k.a. “the Irish Riviera,” home to perhaps the highest density of first responders anywhere, has been lucky. Things could have been a lot worse. Last Monday, soon after the storm hit (officially starting Day One of the Sandy clock), the almost routine heroism associated with the FDNY was on display when a stretch of primarily mom-and-pop stores on Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 113th and Beach 115th Streets burst into flames, a conflagration people in the Rockaways think began when employees fleeing the storm left the oven on in a pizza shop.

“It was insane, coming down the street in a boat in ten feet of water to fight a fire,” said firefighter Thomas Fee, who as a member of Swift Water Team No. 6 was soon on the scene. “We didn’t have our usual gear. We thought we would be pulling people out of the water, so we had this thin plastic foul-weather stuff on,” he said, drawing a diagram to show how he managed to crawl through the openings in the “****ing roaring” buildings, eventually reaching 22 people trapped on rooftops and leading them to safety.

2 (http://nymag.com/news/features/rockaways-hurricane-sandy-2012-11/index1.html) 3 (http://nymag.com/news/features/rockaways-hurricane-sandy-2012-11/index2.html) 4 (http://nymag.com/news/features/rockaways-hurricane-sandy-2012-11/index3.html) 5 (http://nymag.com/news/features/rockaways-hurricane-sandy-2012-11/index4.html)


November 13th, 2012, 08:47 AM

Moved thread to News & Politics. Added tags

November 13th, 2012, 08:49 AM
Long Islanders fume over utility's storm response

Email Story (http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20121110/US.Superstorm.Sandy/) Print (http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20121110/US.Superstorm.Sandy/print/)

6 hours ago

http://por-img.cimcontent.net/api/assets/bin-201211/6b70-Superstorm-Sandy.jpg (http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-general/news-general-20121110-US.Superstorm.Sandy/)A crew with Salt River Project of Arizona (SRP) works on replacing a pole on... (http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/news-general/news-general-20121110-US.Superstorm.Sandy/)

HICKSVILLE, N.Y. — Priscilla Niemiera has a message for officials at the Long Island Power Authority.
"I'd tell them, get off your rear end and do your job," the 68-year-old Seaford resident said. Well, she would if she could get in touch with anyone.
Over the last two weeks since she lost power from Superstorm Sandy, she says, "every time I called they hung up on me."
While most utilities have restored electricity to nearly all their customers, LIPA still has tens of thousands of customers in the dark.

The company said that the storm was worse than anyone could have imagined and that it didn't just damage outdoor electrical lines; it caused flooding that touched home and business breaker boxes. It acknowledged that an outdated computer system for keeping customers notified has added to people's frustration.
But some say the government-run utility should have seen it coming. It was recently criticized in a withering state report for lax preparation ahead of last year's Hurricane Irene and for the 25-year-old computer system used to pinpoint outages and update customers.

"It's antiquated. I think they're negligent," said Phil Glickman, a retired Wall Street executive from South Bellmore who waited 11 days to get electricity back.
LIPA has restored power to more than 1.1 million homes and offices. About 19,000 customers were still waiting for the lights to come back early Tuesday.
The utility says there also are some along Long Island's south shore and Rockaway Peninsula that had water damage to electrical panels and wiring, so their service can't be restored without an inspection and possibly repairs.

At its peak, the storm knocked out power to 8.5 million customers in 10 states, with New York and New Jersey bearing the brunt. Those outages have been nearly erased, though Consolidated Edison, the chief utility in New York City, has cited problems similar to LIPA's, saying about 16,300 customers in flooded areas of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island can't get service until their internal electrical equipment is repaired, tested and certified.

Niemiera, whose finished basement in Seaford flooded, said her house needs to be inspected and she can't get any answers. "I think LIPA should be broken up into small companies and it shouldn't be a monopoly anymore because this is every single time we have a disaster. And then they raise the rates. We're paying very high rates. We're paying high taxes, high electric. Everything," she said.

LIPA, whose board is chosen by the governor and lawmakers, contracts with National Grid for service and maintenance. Last year, its board chose a new contractor, New Jersey's Public Service Enterprise Group, which will take over in 2014. Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized the storm response of all New York utilities in the region, saying their management had failed consumers.
Asked Monday about LIPA board vacancies he hasn't filled and whether he takes responsibility for what's happening there, Cuomo called the authority a holding company that became "an intergovernmental political organization." He said National Grid was the actual Long Island power provider, one of the monopolistic state-regulated utilities. "They're going to be held accountable," he said, citing lack of communication and preparation and even proposing they consider rebates instead of rate hikes.

A state report criticized LIPA in June for poor customer communications after Irene last year and for insufficient tree trimming. The Department of Public Service noted major problems in telling customers estimated power-restoration times, faulting its computer system, which a consultant had found deficient back in 2006.

LIPA acknowledged that customers aren't getting the information they need, partly because of the system, which it is updating. Authority officials said the new system will be operating next year.
"It is a huge computer system. After Irene we immediately accelerated that process, and even at that it is still an 18-month to two-year process," LIPA's chief operating officer, Michael Hervey, said Monday. "We would have liked to have had it up and running for now, but it's just such a large magnitude computer system that it takes that long."

Hervey said the company will be working with remaining customers over the next several weeks as they get their homes repaired. "They can't be safely re-energized from an electrical standpoint," he said. "We are ready to service those areas, but they are not ready to take it right now."
John Bruckner, president of National Grid Long Island transmission and distribution, said he had about 15,000 people working on restoration, including 6,400 linemen from all over the U.S. and Canada.

Matthew Cordaro, co-chairman of the Suffolk Legislature's LIPA Oversight Committee and a former utility executive, said Con Ed and Public Service Electric & Gas New Jersey did a good job responding to the storm, and LIPA didn't.

While a storm of that magnitude would challenge any electricity provider, he said LIPA is probably one of the most poorly run utilities and has a "crazy" public-private organizational structure that's fraught with problems and raises questions of accountability.

In New Jersey, post-Sandy recovery moved ahead, with Gov. Chris Christie announcing that the odd-even system of gas rationing would end starting Tuesday. The head of NJ Transit said a severely damaged rail line could be up and running more quickly than what had been estimated.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

November 13th, 2012, 08:29 PM
LIPA, JCP&L, and all the utilities have been giving lip service for over a week. Granted with PSE&G & a few others there are only a few hundred left each now, but if you're one of those few hundred you don't want to hear the updates anymore because they all sound like lies. My sister and her husband just got theirs back Saturday, and they didn't even have flooding.

They all keep referring to Sandy as "unprecedented, which is true, but if Floyd in '99, the early 2000's storm, & Irene weren't a warning to get your act together MAJORLY, nothing will be.

November 17th, 2012, 04:51 PM
I always knew you can find the best seashells after a big storm, but this is even better.


And this


November 20th, 2012, 09:32 AM
US Geological Survey - aerial views Long Island and Queens Barrier Islands (http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/hurricanes/sandy/photo-comparisons/)

The Post-Storm Oblique Aerial Photography link opens a map with a red stripe from the Carolinas to Massachusetts. Zoom in on an area until the blue (pre-storm) and red (post-storm) dots resolve. Dots link to hi-res photos.

November 20th, 2012, 09:28 PM
Another map-changer, like '62.

November 21st, 2012, 05:24 AM
A Much Criticized Pocket of the Rockaways, Built to Survive a Storm


Kirsten Luce for The New York Times
Daria Mainetti and her husband, Phil Coxon, live in Arverne by the Sea,
a community in the Rockaways that was not damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

The morning after Hurricane Sandy battered the Rockaways last month, Phil Coxon, 70, who lives just off the water there, walked out his front door, “and it looked like any other day,” he said.

Sure, there had been some street flooding from encroaching sea waters, but nothing like the torrents that rushed head-high through many neighborhoods elsewhere on the Rockaway Peninsula, turning the area into a near-wasteland of flooded and wrecked homes and submerged cars.

Sure, the howling winds snapped one of Mr. Coxon’s shingles off, but nothing like the widespread wind damage to homes and stores farther away, in areas that still resemble a war zone.
Mr. Coxon and most of his hundreds of neighbors suffered no real flooding or damage to their homes. They live in a newer area called Arverne by the Sea, a vast $1 billion oceanfront development between Beach 62nd and 80th Streets that is home to over 1,000 families and is one of the largest residential development projects underway in New York City. It has also been much criticized, for its size, its ostentatious appearance and the quality of its housing.

In the days after the storm, things seemed almost idyllic within much of Arverne’s 117-acre footprint, compared with the mess and chaos in the rest of the Rockaways. Mr. Coxon said he was not surprised.

“I bought into this place because of the way it was built,” said Mr. Coxon, a marketing consultant who moved into his $700,000 townhouse in March, with his wife, Daria Mainetti, after living 20 years in Jackson Heights, Queens.

The development lies within evacuation Zone A, but Mr. Coxon and many of his neighbors ignored the city’s order to leave. While power remained out for more than a week, they formed group patrols to deter looters.

Arverne by the Sea has been controversial dating well before 2004 when people started moving in, including a longstanding criticism that the houses were of poor quality. It was the mantra of many dyed-in-the-wool Rockaway-ites that these pretty, modern homes were really flimsy matchboxes that would blow over in the first big storm.

But the development, which is eventually expected to include 2,300 two-family houses and condominiums, also weathered Tropical Storm Irene last year.

“I heard it all from the beginning, people saying, ‘Ah, they’re building junk,’” said Gerry Romski, the development’s project executive. “But bottom line: Our system worked, because we planned from the very beginning to withstand this kind of thing.”

“We’ve already seen interest from Breezy Point residents whose homes were destroyed – looking for something safer,” Mr. Romski said, referring to a Rockaway neighborhood several miles to the west that was particularly decimated by the storm.

Mr. Romski said that a heavy-duty, sophisticated drainage system, designed to handle flood surges, was instrumental in mitigating flooding. The system — which features underground chambers, wide street mains and storm drains on each house property — connects to large sewer mains that the developer installed in public streets that they rebuilt around the project site, as part of an agreement with the city, Mr. Romski said. Also helpful was a natural buffer of sand and beach grass that was maintained near the boardwalk. It also helped that much of the boardwalk in front of the project stayed intact to break the roaring surf, unlike the long stretch west of 88th Street that was obliterated.

“Even back in the planning phases, there was talk of global warming and rising sea levels and all that,” Mr. Romski said. “We knew we’d have to engineer it specifically, and go above and beyond the building requirements, to make it hurricane-proof.”

Instead of overhead power lines, the developer put in underground utility lines, and installed submersible transformers, Mr. Romski said. Homes in the development got power back sooner than much of the rest of the Rockaways, parts of which still remain in the dark. Water never rose to the electrical meters, and the developer hired electricians to inspect the homes, to make sure they were able to receive power.

Before building, the developer raised the entire area with a half-million cubic yards of fill, essentially raising the entire neighborhood five feet higher than it had been, said Michael Dubb, principal of the Beechwood Organization, a partner with the Benjamin Development Company in developing the project along with Denise Coyle, principal of the Benjamin Companies.

The development’s houses are built with steel framing and are covered with cement-composite shingles. They rest on concrete-slab foundations rooted with wooden pilings, and have hurricane-grade windows, said Mr. Dubb, as he surveyed the streets on Wednesday.

“I built houses in South Florida after Hurricane Andrew, and I knew I had to build this while keeping in mind the possibility of serious hurricanes,” he said.

The development’s performance is particularly intriguing because of the curious role it has in the Rockaways, where it strikes a contrast against the modest houses, rustic bungalows, public housing projects and faded high-rises around it.

The Arverne complex resembles a sleepy development in the Carolinas, rising slowly like a bouquet of fake flowers — a utopian set from “The Truman Show.” Its micro-neighborhoods have names like Ocean Breeze, Palmers Landing and the Breakers. And its newly mapped streets have names like Spinnaker Drive. Its white picket fences, ornamental trellises and rooftop deck railings and fencings are made of plastic.

“But look how sturdy it is, said Mr. Coxon, standing on his fourth-floor roof deck and looking out at the now-calm ocean. “It did what it was supposed to do.”


November 21st, 2012, 09:13 AM
Before and after photos of Arverne by the Sea



November 21st, 2012, 09:56 AM
Those are some seriously ugly properties. Most apparent to me is the lack of even a single tree. I never understood how subdivision developers always without exception clear cut everything on the land before they build. I bet you could train a monkey to use autocad to mark trees that could be left untouched while building properties around them and raise property & resale values by a significant amount

November 21st, 2012, 11:12 AM
Huh? It's the Rockaways. It's essentially a big sand bar. There were probably no trees there to begin with. They would have probably had to install tree pits to hold soil to grow the trees in when they built the place.

And the fact that these units held up while others failed is why I like modern construction, especially when the builder is doing their job correctly. The old crap got hammered (a lot to the point of destruction.) Stuff built to (or beyond( the new codes survived. Also, they had proper infrastructure.

November 21st, 2012, 11:48 AM
Huh? It's the Rockaways. It's essentially a big sand bar. There were probably no trees there to begin with. They would have probably had to install tree pits to hold soil to grow the trees in when they built the place.

And the fact that these units held up while others failed is why I like modern construction, especially when the builder is doing their job correctly. The old crap got hammered (a lot to the point of destruction.) Stuff built to (or beyond( the new codes survived. Also, they had proper infrastructure.

Yes, certainly a success in construction to safeguard against wind and flood damage. But where their engineers succeeded, their architects and lanscapers failed miserably. I'm not aware of any magic land that would mysteriously prevent the rockaways from having trees. Quite the opposite, as you can clearly see the established houses in the background all have plenty of trees, and the undeveloped parcel in the top left is essentially a small forest:


The Arverne land had plenty of trees before construction, but as I was saying subdivision builders are complete failures at preserving them

November 21st, 2012, 11:59 AM
Most apparent to me is the lack of even a single tree.Can't tell how many survived, but street trees are planted iin the development.


I never understood how subdivision developers always without exception clear cut everything on the land before they build.The original neighborhood of summer bungalows and hotels was built by Remington Vernam. The land, over 120 acres, was cleared in the 1960s for an urban renewal project that never got off the ground. The land has been vacant until the present development.

Most of it returned to the natural state of a barrier island that you see in the foreground. That land between the boardwalk and the housing will be rehabilitated parkland with native vegetation.


November 21st, 2012, 12:20 PM
The Arverne land had plenty of trees before construction, but as I was saying subdivision builders are complete failures at preserving themNo it didn't.

NYC Map (http://gis.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/)

Click on the Camera icon, move the slider to 1996. You won't see many trees.

Besides, as stated in the article:
Before building, the developer raised the entire area with a half-million cubic yards of fill, essentially raising the entire neighborhood five feet higher than it had been,Trees wouldn't have survived anyway.

November 21st, 2012, 12:54 PM
If you look at Riss park (natural habitat), you see tall scrub brush that reaches maybe nine/ten feet, but no trees per se.

November 21st, 2012, 01:04 PM
No it didn't.

NYC Map (http://gis.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/)

Click on the Camera icon, move the slider to 1996. You won't see many trees.

Besides, as stated in the article:Trees wouldn't have survived anyway.

well I guess I was off by a lot. I had to go back to 1924 to spot the neighborhood trees. Doesn't seem like the developers of Averne did clear cut :o

November 22nd, 2012, 09:10 AM
A Survey of the Flooding in N.Y.C. After the Hurricane (https://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2012/1120-sandy/survey-of-the-flooding-in-new-york-after-the-hurricane.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes)

November 22nd, 2012, 09:28 PM
Stupid frigging idea. Sell it to the highest scrap metal/ocean salvage bidder & get it out of there. We don't need any "Abandoned amusement parks are eerily beautiful" types making it a frigging tourist attraction. We had enough of that with Asbury Park and Long Branch in the '80s & '90s. A rebuilt boardwalk and amusement piers will make a better tourist attraction. A destroyed roller coaster sitting in the ocean decaying, while impaling thrill seekers whose relatives will end up suing the city is just a headache. Plus it's really ugly.

Seaside Heights mayor weighs keeping Sandy-struck roller coaster in ocean as tourist attraction

Mayor Bill Akers said officials have yet to decide whether to tear the coaster down and that he's working with the Coast Guard to see if it is stable enough to remain as is.


Published: Thursday, November 22, 2012, 3:41 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 22, 2012, 8:31 PM

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1206529.1353625725!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/sandy-2.jpgMike Groll/AP

Hurricane Sandy knocked this roller coaster off a Seaside Heights pier, and now the mayor thinks it may be usable as a tourist draw. The ravaged town's damaged boardwalk has been removed, and construction on a new one expected to be ready by Memorial Day is set to begin in January.

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. — The remains of a roller coaster that was knocked off a New Jersey amusement pier by Superstorm Sandy and left partly underwater in the Atlantic Ocean might be left there as a tourist attraction.
Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers tells WNBC-TV in New York (http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Seaside-Heights-Roller-Coaster-Hurricane-Sandy-Jersey-Shore-180420431.html) that officials have not made a decision on whether to tear down the coaster. But the mayor says he's working with the Coast Guard to see if the coaster is stable enough to be left alone because he believes it would make "a great tourist attraction."
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1206528!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/sandy-1.jpgMel Evans/AP

The effort to rebuild Seaside Heights, which was pummeled by Superstorm Sandy, is under way.

Meanwhile, efforts to rebuild the storm-ravaged town are continuing.
Demolition crews have removed the resort's damaged boardwalk. And Akers says construction on a new boardwalk should begin in January and the new one should be ready by Memorial Day.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/sandy-struck-seaside-heights-coaster-remain-sea-tourist-attraction-article-1.1206527#ixzz2D0ZfdPWo

November 23rd, 2012, 10:06 AM
That is insane.

November 23rd, 2012, 10:33 AM
The constantly stirring saltwater ocean would entirely reclaim that flimsy metal frame in a matter of months: he could not have been serious.

Now if he suggested cladding that thing in fiberglass and turning it into a Giant water slide, that would be (not really) a good idea. LOL

November 24th, 2012, 05:45 AM

Pulling Photos From the Ruins


https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/1731/67675/12h/m.wsj.net/video/20121121/112212staten/112212staten_512x288.jpg (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324352004578131502756690958.html?m od=wsj_share_tweet#)

Two Staten Island teenagers started displaying photographs found among the debris left in the wake of superstorm Sandy, in the hopes of reuniting them with families whose homes were devastated by the storm.

Conference House Park on the southern tip of Staten Island has been a favorite spot for 17-year-old Amanda Casella to snap photos. The day after Sandy, she ventured out to the park with her camera to document the destruction of the storm.

She found photographic evidence of Sandy's toll scattered at her feet. The scenic waterfront was littered with other people's pictures—treasured mementos of her neighbors' lives washed away in the storm.

Ms. Casella began sifting through the debris to save the snapshots, which she pinned to a board to dry. Her wall of lost photos shared a street corner with a food-distribution station, allowing passersby to look for missing memories.

After putting out a call for help on Facebook, Ms. Casella was joined in her mission by Lauren Sobota, 15. Soon, other neighbors began dropping off items to add to the collection.

"Everyone just knew us as the photo picture girls," said Ms. Sobota, who put up posters advertising their effort. "That's really one of the only things you can't replace—your pictures. You can replace furniture but you cannot replace pictures."

As the trove of rescued items grew, neighbors started spotting their photographs on the wall. "For people who've lost everything, it's something that they'll be able to keep. That's their memories," said Ms. Casella, a senior at Tottenville High School.

Memories of Life Before the Storm (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324851704578136972579030306.html#s lide/1)
View Slideshow (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324352004578131502756690958.html?m od=wsj_share_tweet#)

Hundreds of unclaimed photographs are now pinned onto boards housed in Ms. Casella's parents' garage, which was transformed into a shelter for the lost items when a post-storm nor'easter made the street corner too vulnerable. The two teenagers staff the repository after school and on weekends, sorting the photographs into piles of portraits, scenes and shots of people they think they know. They also have collections of holiday cards, a paintball trophy, wallets, sports memorabilia and an American Girl doll.

Michael Abruzzo, an electrician, returned to the hard-hit Tottenville neighborhood after the storm to find his home distributed in pieces around the block. The deck, pool and shed out back were all gone, but he managed to find his daughters' jewelry boxes containing their baptism earrings in the yard.

Friends and volunteers helped Mr. Abruzzo, 43, retrieve other remnants of his shattered home, including photographs they had spotted on Ms. Casella's board. Once she knew who the family was, she sorted through her collection and retrieved about 100 photographs, including an album of Mr. Abruzzo's children's first trip to Disneyland.

"This is life captured in time," he said. "I think pictures, if you're lucky enough to have them again, help bring back better times in your life that were before the tragedy."

Ms. Casella and Ms. Sobota returned to Conference House Park again last week, more than two weeks after the storm, to see if they could still find any storm-tossed keepsakes. It took just 10 minutes of climbing over splintered trees and ruined furniture before they picked out a tall "Welcome" sign, two photographs and a Halloween decoration.

Maite H. Mateo for The Wall Street Journal Amanda Casella gathering salvaged photos on Staten Island.

"There were so many pictures scattered throughout the woods," Ms. Sobota said of the first few days after the storm. "It was so surreal that this happened so close to home."

The project has inadvertently given the teens a peek into some of the most intimate details of their neighbor's lives.

"There are a few things that I shouldn't have seen," said Ms. Casella. "Some of them are too intimate for the board. One of them, we actually knew the person so we put it in a pile of stuff that we found of theirs, didn't say anything, we just gave it back," she said with a laugh.

But for the most part, "I see people's memories. Their personal lives," she said, standing next to a board filled with portraits of holidays, family gatherings and weddings.

Her mother, Cathleen Casella, a retired police officer who has been volunteering after the storm, is proud of her daughter's efforts to reunite people with their photographs.

"She said, 'Mom, this is all some people got left. I knew it was a good thing but didn't realize how much of good things it was,' " recalled the elder Ms. Casella. "I think this has taught her how little things can mean the world to somebody."

The storm has left the digitally savvy teenager adamant that from now on, she will keep her pictures stored on her computer or tied together with rubber bands.
"I know never to put them in photo albums again," she said. "They get stuck and ruined if they get wet."

Of the lives pinned to her boards, Ms. Casella said, "I don't think you can ever get used to something like this."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324352004578131502756690958.html?m od=wsj_share_tweet

November 25th, 2012, 11:46 AM
There have also been photos and other personal items posted online so owners may be able to get them back. Mostly Facebook so far. Unfortunately the crappier side of this is that valuable items have begun showing up on ebay also.

November 25th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Daily News takes you inside unfolding crisis as Hurricane Sandy batters New York

How city officials faced down the superstorm and learned hard lessons in the process

By Rich Schapiro (http://wirednewyork.com/authors?author=Rich Schapiro) / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012, 10:29 PM
Updated: Sunday, November 25, 2012, 3:00 AM

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1207574.1353814176!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/sandy.jpgTodd Maisel/New York Daily News

Sandy triggered a wind-whipped blaze that incinerated half of Breezy Point, Queens.

It was 8:37 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, and Cas Holloway (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Cas+Holloway)’s BlackBerry started to ring.
Superstorm Sandy was reaching full fury and Holloway, the deputy mayor for operations, was helping to quarterback the city’s response.

Already, a damaged crane 90 stories above W. 57th St. was threatening to topple. A building had partially collapsed in Chelsea. And now seawater was cascading into the city — swallowing up homes, then streets, then entire neighborhoods.
On the other end of the line was Chuck Dowd, who runs the NYPD’s 911 system.
Dowd told Holloway the system was being inundated with 10,000 calls every 30 minutes — 10 times the average — and most were for downed trees. Dowd was concerned people with life-threatening emergencies weren’t getting through quickly enough.
“Okay. I’ll get on it,” Holloway said.
Seconds after he hung up, Holloway’s phone rang again. It was Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Salvatore+Cassano). Firefighters needed to rescue hundreds of people trapped by floodwaters in Staten Island and the Rockaways. Cars, many of them floating, were impeding their way. People needed to get off the road.
“I’ll get on it,” Holloway said.
He was about to hang up when, like a bad dream, a call-waiting beep rang in his ear. Con Edison CEO Kevin Burke (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Kevin+Burke+(Executive)) was calling. “We just lost (power to) half of Manhattan,” Burke said.
In just 90 seconds, the city seemed to be coming undone.
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1207575!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/sandy.jpgDebbie Egan-Chin/New York Daily News

First responders rescue John Lee, 90, in Breezy Point.

* * *
Sandy triggered severe flooding in lower Manhattan, South Brooklyn and Staten Island; unleashed a wind-whipped fire that incinerated half of Breezy Point, Queens; crippled the subway system and knocked out power to more than 1 million people. Large swaths of the city were left in ruins; 43 people died.
Nearly a month later, the lives of thousands of New Yorkers remain upended. Yet, there is a sense that it could have been much worse.
Through interviews with top city officials, the Daily News has pieced together the first behind-the-scenes look at New York City’s night of reckoning. The accounts from those who oversaw the storm response suggest the city withstood Sandy thanks to steely nerves, exhaustive preparation and the extraordinary skill and bravery of cops, firefighters and other first responders.
The storm posed a series of unprecedented challenges. And though a full analysis of the city’s response is months away, officials have begun grappling with questions the storm laid bare:
What’s the best way to persuade hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes?
Should hospitals and clinics remain in flood-prone neighborhoods? How do you care for people living for days without heat or hot water?
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1207583!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/crane.jpgBryan Smith for New York Daily News

A crane collapsed and dangled over 70 stories high above W. 57th St. between Broadway and Seventh Ave.

The rest of this long article is here:

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/90-seconds-city-undone-article-1.1207570#ixzz2DFsnFzZ1

November 26th, 2012, 08:10 AM
New York Harbor Barrier: Will City Act To Protect Itself From Future Storm Surges?



Think Sandy was just a 100-year storm that devastated New York City? Imagine one just as bad, or worse, every three years.

Prominent planners and builders say now is the time to think big to shield the city's core: a 5-mile barrier blocking the entryway to New York Harbor, an archipelago of man-made islets guarding the tip of Manhattan, or something like CDM Smith engineer Larry Murphy's 1,700-foot barrier – complete with locks for passing boats and a walkway for pedestrians – at the mouth of the Arthur Kill waterway between the borough of Staten Island and New Jersey.

Act now, before the next deluge, and they say it could even save money in the long run.

These strategies aren't just pipe dreams. Not only do these technologies already exist, some of the concepts have been around for decades and have been deployed successfully in other countries and U.S. cities.

So if the science and engineering are sound, the long-term cost would actually be a savings, and the frequency and severity of more killer floods is inevitable, what's the holdup?
Political will.

Like the argument in towns across America when citizens want a traffic signal installed at a dangerous intersection, Sandy's 43 deaths and estimated $26 billion in damages citywide might not be enough to galvanize the public and the politicians into action.

"Unfortunately, they probably won't do anything until something bad happens," said CDM Smith's Murphy. "And I don't know if this will be considered bad enough."

Sandy and her 14-foot surge not bad enough? By century's end, researchers forecast up to four feet higher seas, producing storm flooding akin to Sandy's as often as several times each decade. Even at current sea levels, Sandy's floodwaters filled subways, other tunnels and streets in parts of Manhattan.

Without other measures, rebuilding will simply augment the future destruction. Yet that's what political leaders are emphasizing. President Barack Obama himself has promised to stand with the city "until the rebuilding is complete."

So it might take a worse superstorm or two to really get the problem fixed.

The focus on rebuilding irks people like Robert Trentlyon, a retired weekly newspaper publisher in lower Manhattan who is campaigning for sea barriers to protect the city: "The public is at the woe-is-me stage, rather than how-do-we-prevent-this-in-the-future stage."

He belongs to a coterie of professionals and ordinary New Yorkers who want to take stronger action. Though pushing for a regional plan, they are especially intent on keeping Manhattan dry.

The 13-mile-long island serves as the country's financial and entertainment nerve center. Within a 3-mile-long horseshoe-shaped flood zone around its southernmost quadrant are almost 500,000 residents and 300,000 jobs. Major storms swamp places like Wall Street and the site of the World Trade Center.

Proven technology already exists to blunt or virtually block wind-whipped seas from overtaking lower Manhattan and much of the rest of New York City, according to a series of Associated Press interviews with engineers, architects and scientists and a review of research on flooding issues in the New York metropolitan area and around the globe.

These strategies range from hard structures like mammoth barriers equipped with ship gates and embedded at entrances to the harbor, to softer and greener shoreline restraints like man-made marshes and barrier islands.

Additional landfill, the old standby once used to extend Manhattan into the harbor, could further lift vulnerable highways and other sites beyond the reach of the seas.

Even more simply, the rock and concrete seawalls and bulkheads that already ring lower Manhattan could be built up, but now perhaps with high-tech wave-absorbing or wave-reflecting materials.

Seizing the initiative from government, business and academic circles have fleshed out several dramatic concepts to hold back water before it tops the shoreline. Two of the most elaborate proposals are:

_ A rock causeway, with 80-foot-high swinging ship gates, would sweep five miles across the entryway to inner New York Harbor from Sandy Hook, N.J., to Breezy Point, N.Y. To protect Manhattan, another shorter barrier is needed to the north, where the East River meets Long Island Sound, and another small blockage would go up near Sandy Hook. This New Jersey-side barrier and a network of levees on both ends of the causeway could help protect picturesque beach communities like Atlantic Highlands, in New Jersey to the west, and the Rockaways, in New York City to the east. This so-called outer barrier option was conceived for a professional symposium by the engineering firm CH2M HILL, which last year finished building a supersized 15-mile barrier guarding St. Petersburg, Russia, from Baltic Sea storms.

_ An extensive green makeover of lower Manhattan would install an elaborate drainage system beneath the streets, build up the very tip by 6 feet, pile 30-foot earthen mounds along the eastern edge, and create perimeter wetlands and a phalanx of artificial barrier islets – all to absorb the brunt of a huge storm surge. Plantings along the streets would help soak up runoff that floods the city sewers during heavy rains. This concept was worked up by DLANDSTUDIO and Architecture Research Office, two city architectural firms, for a museum project.

What's missing is not viable ideas or proposals, but determination. Massive projects protecting other cities from the periodic ravages of stormy seas usually happened after catastrophes on a scale eclipsing even Sandy.

It took the collapse of dikes, drowning deaths of more than 1,800 people, and evacuation of another 100,000 in 1953 for the Dutch to say "Never again!" They have since constructed the world's sturdiest battery of dikes, dams and barriers. No disaster on that scale has happened since.

It took the breach of levees, a similar death toll, and flooding of 80 percent of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to marshal the momentum finally to build a two-mile barricade against the Gulf of Mexico.

A handful of seaside New England cities – Stamford, Conn.; Providence, R.I.; and New Bedford, Mass. – have built smaller barriers after their own disasters.

However, New York City, which mostly lies just several feet above sea level, has so far escaped the horrors visited elsewhere. Its leaders have been brushing off warnings of disaster for years.

Retired geologist Jim Mellet of New Fairfield, Conn., recalls hearing a story told to him by the late Bill A. O'Leary, a retired city engineer at the time: He and other engineers, concerned about battering floods, had approached power broker Robert Moses more than 80 years ago to ask him to consider constructing a gigantic barrier to hold back storm tides at the entrance to the city's Upper Bay.

Moses supposedly squashed the idea like an annoying bug. "According to Bill, he stood there uninterested, with his arms folded on his chest, and when they finished the presentation, he just said, `No, it will destroy the view.'" Or perhaps he was already mulling other plans for the same site, where he would build the Verrazano Narrows Bridge years later.

Many city projects, like the Westway highway plan of the 1970s and 1980s, died partly because of the impact they would have on the cherished view of water from the congested cityscape. Imagine, then, the political viability of a project that might further block access to the harbor or the view of the Statue of Liberty from the tip of Manhattan.

"I can assure that many New Yorkers would have strong opinions about high seawalls," said an email from a retired New York commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bud Griffis, who was involved in the permitting process for the failed Westway.

However, global warming and its rising sea levels now make it harder simply to shrug off measures to shield the city from storms. Sandy drove 14-foot higher-than-normal seas – breaking a nearly 200-year-old record – into car and subway tunnels, streets of trendy neighborhoods, commuter highways and an electrical substation that shorted out nearly all of lower Manhattan.

The late October storm left 43 dead in the city, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn estimated at least $26 billion in damages and economic losses. The regional cost has been estimated at $50 billion, making Sandy the second most destructive storm in U.S. history after Katrina.

Yet heavier storms are forecast. A 1995 study involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers envisioned a worst-case storm scenario for New York: High winds rip windows and masonry from skyscrapers, forcing pedestrians to flee to subway tunnels to avoid the falling debris. The tunnels soon flood.

With its dense population and distinctive coastline, New York is especially vulnerable, with Manhattan at the center.

The famous island can be pounded by storm surges from three sides: from the west via the Arthur Kill, from the south through the Upper Bay, and from the Long Island Sound through the East River. Relatively shallow depth offshore allows storm waters to pile up; the north-south shoreline of New Jersey and the east-west orientation of Long Island further channel gushing seas right at Manhattan.

Some believe that Sandy was bad enough at least to advance more serious study of stronger protections. "I think the superstorm we had really put the fear of God into people, because no one really believed it would happen," said urban planner Juliana Maantay at Lehman College-City University of New York.

But nearly all flood researchers interviewed by the AP voiced considerable skepticism about action in the foreseeable future. "In a half year's time, there will be other problems again, I can tell you," said Dutch urban planner Jeroen Aerts, who has studied storm protections around the world.

William Solecki, a Manhattan-based Hunter College planner who has been at the center of city and state task forces on climate change, guessed that little more will be done to prevent future flooding beyond "nibbling at the edges" of the threat.

In recent years, the city has been enforcing codes that require flood-zone builders to keep electrical and other critical systems above predicted high water from what was until recently thought to be a once-in-a-century storm. Sealing other key equipment against water has been encouraged. The city has tried to keep storm grates free of debris and has elevated subway entrances. The buzz word has been making things more "resilient."

But this approach does little to stop swollen waters of a gigantic storm from pouring over lower Manhattan. "Resiliency means if you get knocked down, this is how you get back up again," huffs activist Trentlyon. "They just were talking about what you do afterward." He said Sandy's flood water rose to 5 feet at street level in Chelsea, where he lives on the western side of lower Manhattan.

The city has at least toyed with the idea of barriers and even considered various locations in a 2008 study. "I have always considered that flood gates are something we should consider, but are not necessarily the immediate answer to rush toward," said Rohit Aggarwala, a Stanford University teacher who is former director of the New York mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.

Unswayed by Sandy, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his assistants have been blunter. Bloomberg said barriers might not be worthwhile "even if you spent a fortune."

Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said no specific measures – whether more wetlands, higher seawalls or harbor barriers – have been ruled out because "there's no one-size-fits-all solution." But he compared sea barriers to the Maginot Line, the fortified line of defenses that Germany quickly sidestepped to conquer France at the beginning of World War II.

"The city is not going to be totally stormproof, but I think it can be very adaptable," he added. He said that new flood maps informed by Sandy are being drawn up, and he suspects they will extend the zones where new developments must install critical equipment above flood level.

Computer simulations indicate that hard barriers, which have worked elsewhere around the world, would do a good job of shielding New York neighborhoods behind them. But they'd actually make flooding worse just outside the barriers, where surging waters would pile up with nowhere to go.

The patriarch of this research is Malcolm Bowman, a native New Zealander who leads a passionate cadre of barrier researchers at Stony Brook University on the northern shore of Long Island. His warnings have mostly gone unheeded. "I feel like a biblical prophet crying in the wilderness: `The end is near!'" Bowman said.

Unbowed, he continues to preach against incremental measures. "If you get a storm and a big oak tree falls on your house, then whether you fix your gutter doesn't matter," he said.

In recent years, his logic has finally begun to resonate a bit more. Nicholas Kim, an oceanographer with engineering firm HDR HydroQual who studied with Bowman in the 1980s, said his mentor has been thinking about barriers since then: "Everybody said, `You're crazy!' But now it's becoming clear that we need protection."

Even massive structures don't shield everyone, though. A 2009 four-barrier study co-authored by Kim found that in a simulated storm, barriers still failed to protect large swaths of Queens and sections of other outlying boroughs with a total of more than 100,000 people.

Researchers also have predicted at least a modest additional one-foot rise of stormy seas as water piles up outside the barriers. "If you're the guy just outside the barrier, and you're paying taxes and you're not included, you're not going to be very happy," said oceanographer Larry Swanson at Stony Brook University.

How such barriers would affect water movement, silt and marine life also remains an open question requiring further study for each case.

The scale and costs of hard barrier schemes have further put off many critics. After flooding from Hurricane Irene last year, city representatives asked Aerts, the Dutch planner, to compare the cost and benefits of barriers to existing approaches. His initial analysis will not be finished until February, but his early cost estimate for barriers and associated dikes for New York City is $15 billion to $27 billion – comparable to that of the record-setting $24 billion Big Dig that reshaped Boston's waterfront – not to block storms, but to unblock traffic and views of the waterfront.

Barrier defenders counter by pointing to the cost of storm damages. Stony Brook meteorologist Brian Colle said: "When you think of the cost of a Sandy, which is running in the billions, these barriers are basically going to pay for themselves in one or two storms." Advocates say tolls on trains or cars riding atop a barrier could help finance the project.

While appealing for rebuilding, Council Speaker Quinn also has said that "the time for casual debate is over" and called for a bold mix of resiliency with grander protective structures. She has estimated the cost of her plan at $20 billion.

Other massive protection schemes, like the green makeover of lower Manhattan, also would probably run into the billions. And soft protections are meant only to defuse, not stop, rising waters. Sandy battered parts of Long Island behind barrier islands and wetlands.

Nor is it clear that Manhattan has enough space to fashion more extensive wetlands of the sort that help protect the Gulf Coast, however imperfectly. "New York is too far gone for wetlands," said Griffis, the retired Army Corps commander for New York.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has announced he will spearhead efforts to request a corps study of whether barriers or other options would work better. However, it remains unclear if Congress would be willing to fund such a study, which would undoubtedly take several years and cost millions of dollars.

And even before a dime has been appropriated, the corps is lowering expectations. Says spokesman Chris Gardner: "You can't protect everywhere completely at all times."


November 27th, 2012, 05:59 AM
Enclaves, Long Gated, Seek to Let In Storm Aid


Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Benjamin Eisenstein, walking over debris in Sea Gate, Brooklyn, grew up in the community and
came by to help a friend who still lives there.

Sea Gate looks the same as many storm-scattered waterfront communities do. Home after home torn apart by the ocean. Streets filled with sand. Shattered sidewalks and clogged sewers. A sea wall, which had already been inadequate to the task of safeguarding residents, reduced to rubble.

Ordinarily, New York City or other governmental entities might take over the tasks of restoring a middle-class neighborhood like this. But Sea Gate, with its 850 homes on Coney Island’s western tip, is not an ordinary neighborhood. It is a 113-year-old private, gated community, where the razor-wire-topped fences and armed security checkpoints that keep outsiders from its streets, beaches and parks serve as a constant reminder that the residents of this community have chosen to live somewhat apart.

Once the gilded retreat of the Vanderbilt family, Sea Gate, like other gated communities in New York, preserved its exclusivity with the promise that the residents would assume the costs of community upkeep, maintaining their own streets, parks and sewer systems and even fielding the distinct Sea Gate Police Department.

The special status endured, through occasional controversy and political efforts to open the streets to the public, because of the community’s self-sufficiency.

But the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/h/hurricanes_and_tropical_storms/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) to Sea Gate, in Brooklyn, and another gated community, Breezy Point, in Queens, was so monumental that residents who are already struggling to figure out how they will pay to rebuild their homes say they cannot afford to pay the additional cost of repairing communal infrastructure. So neighborhoods that have long held the rest of the city at arm’s length now seek the financial embrace of the city, state and federal governments.

That turnaround has been ill-received among some on the other side of the fence from Sea Gate, in historically troubled apartment towers like Sea Rise, where Cesar Catala, 29, picked up some hot food from a relief tent on Monday.

“They seclude themselves,” said Mr. Catala, who has lived in Coney Island nearly his entire life. “We don’t have problems with Sea Gate, but they put their noses down at us. We get treated like we’re second class, just because they live in houses and we live in the projects and we rent. They say they need assistance and, fine, maybe they do need assistance. But they have insurance on their houses. We don’t have insurance. We don’t have much out here.”

In Breezy Point, a gated community on the western edge of the Rockaways, 111 homes burned to the ground during the storm.

“We’d be foolish not to ask for help,” said Steve Greenberg, former chairman of the Breezy Point cooperative’s board and a financial adviser at Morgan Stanley. “We would hope that we see something, but if we don’t see something we’re prepared to go forward to keep the community.”

Leaving aside the policy question of whether flood-prone communities should be rebuilt at all, these insular areas pose unusual challenges for public agencies.

Community officials have long maintained that their enclaves are no different than a Park Avenue apartment house with its own doorman, a horizontal rather than a vertical development. But, to continue the analogy, apartment buildings do not ask the city to retile their hallways or fix their plumbing. The residents of gated communities pay all the same taxes — sewer, water and property — that any city property owner does, in addition to their private association charges.

But the city does not appear to have a formal obligation to provide services, like road and sewer maintenance, for the infrastructure that gated communities agreed to maintain.

“Now, with this unexpected act of God, those same communities, quite ready to point a finger at government shortcomings, are placed in the difficult position of having to reach out to government for a substantial helping hand,” said Paula A. Franzese, a law professor at Seton Hall University who has written extensively about gated communities.

Already city officials have dispatched private contractors with bulldozers to cart away the sand and concrete slabs from Sea Gate’s streets and trucks to vacuum the sand out of its sewers.

The city’s Department of Environmental Protection has supplied drinking water to Breezy Point residents. Yet it is apparent that government officials are improvising for now, not sure what the fine legal boundaries are and whether their efforts will extend to rebuilding the infrastructure.

Caswell F. Holloway, deputy mayor for operations, said City Hall wanted all residents, including those living in private communities that were hardest hit by the storm, to have the systems restored that allowed them “to get back to normal as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

“We’re not going to let the form of the community, whether private or gated, stand in the way of getting the outcome we all want, which is to help them recover,” he said. “It’s in everyone’s interest to get these communities back. If they’re successful, the city is successful.”

William Korn, 52, the owner of a bakery who says his house in Sea Gate sustained over $300,000 in damage, said the city should pay for rebuilding the community even if it is gated because residents pay city taxes. “I don’t pay for water?” he said rhetorically, as if the question were absurd. “I don’t pay for real estate taxes — $6,000 a year? I don’t pay for services? I pay all those. Just because we have a private community? I pay for that private community.”

Charles Brecher, research director at the nonpartisan Citizens Budget Commission, said that obligation should be factored in to any decision. “We should help people in disasters but we should hold people responsible for what they’ve agreed to be responsible for,” he said.

The city planning department said it did not know how many private communities that control their own streets were in the city’s borders. There are at least eight, though not all are gated, including Forest Hills Gardens in Queens, Edgewater Park in the Bronx and the Tides at Charleston and Bay Street Landing in Staten Island.

More suburban New Jersey has about 6,000 private communities, said Professor Franzese.

Each gated community has discrete historical origins. In the late 19th century Sea Gate boasted plutocratic property owners like the Vanderbilt and Morgan families, but a real estate company bought the land and then sold it to a homeowners association in 1899. Breezy Point was an informal bungalow colony in the early 20th century, but a real estate corporation bought the underlying land in 1960 and residents — many of them police officers, firefighters and city workers — purchased half of that property as a cooperative that today has over 3,000 homes. One of the more recent private communities is the Tides, a six-year-old, 190-house complex for people older than 55.

Developers apply to get the names of any city streets within a purchased plot removed from official city maps, which requires a vote by the City Council.

If demapping is approved, the street essentially becomes private property and the community can choose to bar nonresidents, though the city can apply leverage during the negotiations over land use to keep the street open to the public — as the streets of Fieldston, a private but not gated community, are in the Bronx.

The city may provide limited services, also negotiated, like fire services in Sea Gate and police services in Breezy Point. There is in some cases resentment between the enclaves and neighborhoods that surround them, which are often demographically very different. Though these places do not have restrictive covenants — Sea Gate, by some accounts, once restricted Jews but now has a large Jewish population — a majority of residents are white and are surrounded by areas with large poor black and Hispanic populations. The median household income in Breezy Point was $83,000 in 2010, while Sea Gate’s was $62,000.

Even before the storm, the communities were increasingly turning to the city for assistance. Domenic M. Recchia Jr., chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee, whose district includes Sea Gate, had been working to get the city to upgrade the enclave’s sewers because they cannot handle the runoff from large storms.

“Just because they’re a gated community, they’re still citizens and pay taxes,” he said. “They won’t be able to sustain themselves. Anybody can say what they want, but we can’t turn our back on them.”

Pinny Dembitzer, president of the Sea Gate Association, said that since the national economic downturn, many residents were unable to pay maintenance charges averaging $3,000, which could jeopardize the solvency of the association. Now, he said, they found themselves in “a Catch-22 situation.”

“If they get enough money to build their homes, they can’t have enough money to rebuild the sea wall,” he said. “But if they don’t rebuild the sea wall they can’t rebuild their homes.”

Even as the communities put together formal requests for assistance, residents like Yidel Lax, 62, an artist whose house was flooded, are unwilling to part with the community’s most prized feature. “The only reason that Sea Gate is what it is is because it’s private,” he said. “Otherwise, it wouldn’t be Sea Gate.”


November 27th, 2012, 08:52 PM
Most of these seem more intimate and in the trenches than the ones I've seen so far. Gov Christie says will take 3-5 years to get back to normal. Whatever constitutes normal for NJ.

Slideshow:Recovering after Sandy (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/49596252/displaymode/1247/?wbSlideShowId=49596252&wbSection=weather)
(http://msnbc.msn.com/id/49596252/displaymode/1247/?wbSlideShowId=49596252&wbSection=weather#__utma=14933801.852960996.135398 7440.1353987440.1353987440.1&__utmb=14933801.1.10.1353987440&__utmc=14933801&__utmx=-&__utmz=14933801.1353987440.1.1.utmcsr=msn.com|utmc cn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/&__utmv=14933801.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Cus%20news)
Mario Tama / GettyImages
Residents of theNortheast are still picking up the pieces after Superstorm Sandy.
Launchslideshow (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/49596252/displaymode/1247/?wbSlideShowId=49596252&wbSection=weather#__utma=14933801.852960996.135398 7440.1353987440.1353987440.1&__utmb=14933801.1.10.1353987440&__utmc=14933801&__utmx=-&__utmz=14933801.1353987440.1.1.utmcsr=msn.com|utmc cn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/&__utmv=14933801.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Cus%20news)

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/49596252/displaymode/1247/?wbSlideShowId=49596252&wbSection=weather#__utma=14933801.852960996.135398 7440.1353987440.1353987440.1&__utmb=14933801.1.10.1353987440&__utmc=14933801&__utmx=-&__utmz=14933801.1353987440.1.1.utmcsr=msn.com|utmc cn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/&__utmv=14933801.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Cus%20news

November 29th, 2012, 02:50 PM
"Bay Park, a sprawling complex off Hewlett Bay near the New York City border, serves 40 percent of Nassau County. When Hurricane Sandy arrived, its force blindsided workers. They had spent days shoring up the facility with emergency measures, but did not anticipate the surge.

In less than 30 minutes, engines for the plant’s main pumping system were under 12 feet of water, and sewage began to back up and overflow into homes. In one low-lying neighborhood, a plume of feces and wastewater burst through the street like a geyser.

The plant shut down for more than 50 hours, and about 200 million gallons of raw sewage flowed into channels and waterways. “Never ever, ever has this happened before,” said Michael Martino, a spokesman for the Nassau County Department of Public Works. On Thursday, Mr. Martino said that the plant was now fully operational and that the treatment of sewage was improving day by day.
On a visit this week, the smell of excrement still hung over the tidy neighborhood as workers in white hazmat suits attempted to decontaminate homes. Sewage, mixed with four- to five-foot-high floodwaters, infiltrated floors and walls, and many homes must be stripped to their wooden frames to be fully decontaminated. Some may not be salvageable."


November 29th, 2012, 06:01 PM
Astonishing. It is going to take years and hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions to recover from this.

November 30th, 2012, 04:46 AM
Post-Storm Cost May Force Many From Coast Life


New York and New Jersey residents, just coming to grips with the enormous costs of repairing homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, will soon face another financial blow: soaring flood insurance rates and heightened standards for rebuilding that threaten to make seaside living, once and for all, a luxury only the wealthy can afford.

Homeowners in storm-damaged coastal areas who had flood insurance — and many more who did not, but will now be required to — will face premium increases of as much as 20 percent or 25 percent per year beginning in January, under legislation enacted in July to shore up the debt-ridden National Flood Insurance Program (http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program). The yearly increases will add hundreds, even thousands, of dollars to homeowners’ annual bills.

The higher premiums, coupled with expensive requirements for homes being rebuilt within newly mapped flood hazard zones, which will take into account the storm’s vast reach, pose a serious threat to middle-class and lower-income enclaves. In Queens, on Staten Island, on Long Island and at the Jersey Shore, many families have clung fast to a modest coastal lifestyle, often passing bungalows or small Victorian homes down through generations, even as development turned other places into playgrounds for the well-to-do.

While many homeowners are beginning to rebuild without any thought to future costs, the changes could propel a demographic shift along the Northeast Coast, even in places spared by the storm, according to federal officials, insurance industry executives and regional development experts. Ronald Schiffman, a former member of the New York City Planning Commission, said that barring intervention by Congress or the states, there would be “a massive displacement of low-income families from their historic communities.”

After weeks of tearing debris from her 87-year-old, two-story house on the bay side of Long Beach, N.Y., Barbara Carman, 59, said she understood the need to stabilize the flood insurance program, but she compared coming premium increases to “kicking people while they’re down.”

Ms. Carman and her husband, who had hoped to retire in a few years, were reconsidering whether they could afford to remain on the coast on fixed incomes. But she said she feared that even selling their home could be hard.

“Only wealthy people could afford it, I guess, not middle-class people,” she said. “You’re going to price us out of here.”

The heightened financial pressure has emerged as an unintended consequence of efforts to stop the government subsidization of risk that has encouraged so many to build and rebuild along coasts increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather. Supporters of the effort acknowledged that it would squeeze lower-income residents but said it was vital for the insurance program to reflect the risk of living along the shore.

“The irony is, if we allowed market forces to dictate at the coast, a lot of the development in the wrong places would never have gotten built,” said Jeffrey Tittel, director of the Sierra Club’s chapter in New Jersey. “But we didn’t. We subsidized that development with low insurance rates for decades. And we can’t afford to keep doing that. Should a person who lives in an apartment in Newark pay for someone’s beach house?”

Because private insurers rarely provide flood insurance, the program has been run by the federal government, which kept rates artificially low under pressure from the real estate industry and other groups. Flood insurance in higher-risk areas typically costs $1,100 to $3,000 a year, for coverage capped at $250,000; the contents of a home could be insured up to $100,000 for an additional $500 or so a year, said Steve Harty, president of National Flood Services, a large claims-processing company.

Premiums will double for new policyholders and many old ones within three or four years under the new law.

Across the board, rates will begin rising an average of 20 percent after Jan. 1, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency; rate increases had previously been capped at 10 percent. For properties older than the flood insurance program, where premiums cost half as much as for newer buildings, those discounts are being phased out, through yearly rate increases of 25 percent.

Second homes and businesses will see these increases next year without exception. Primary homes will lose their discounted rates if repairs cost more than half the value of the home, if the home has had recurring flood damage or if the owner refuses an offer of money to help elevate or relocate the building — the exact situations being confronted by many homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy. The discounted rates disappear if owners sell, let their policies lapse or make major improvements.

The practice of grandfathering is also being discontinued: homes that were built in areas deemed safe at the time, but later added to flood hazard areas, will no longer be treated as though they are on high ground.
At the same time, avoiding the expense of flood insurance will become harder for middle-class homeowners, many of whom have historically dropped their policies after a few uneventful years even though it is required for homeowners with federally backed mortgages who live in flood-prone areas. Lenders who do not enforce the requirement will face higher penalties.

The stiffened penalties, higher premiums and elimination of subsidies enacted in July were meant to bolster the finances of the flood insurance program; it fell $18 billion into debt after Hurricane Katrina and had just $3 billion of borrowing capacity left before Hurricane Sandy, which could prompt claims of $6 billion to $12 billion. Congress was prodded into action not just by fiscal conservatives but also by environmental advocates who believed the program encouraged reckless development in harm’s way.

But the law did not address affordability, except to say that FEMA should study it.

“You have to move toward fiscal soundness,” said J. Robert Hunter, a federal insurance administrator during the Ford and Carter administrations who is now insurance director for the Consumer Federation of America. “But we’ve said you also have to add some protection for low-income people. But they’ve never done it.”

Mr. Hunter, who was named to a post-storm commission on resilience by New York’s governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, said his analysis of FEMA data showed that fewer than 30 percent of homes in areas affected by the storm had policies in effect.

Agency officials said it would be months before the new flood maps were finished, which means that homeowners are approaching the question of rebuilding without a full understanding of the requirements they may face.

Dave Miller, head of the National Flood Insurance Program, said FEMA would provide guidance on map updates to local officials long before the maps were made official.

But he urged homeowners to think beyond the current standards. “It may not hit you today,” Mr. Miller said, “but a year or two from now, when the maps are adopted, it’s going to hit your community, and you’re going to ask, ‘Why didn’t we hear this before?’ ”

Edward Thomas, a longtime FEMA official who is now president of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association, said raising a structure even higher than the new minimum elevation was the only prudent option.

Premiums when the next maps are adopted could be “absolutely enormous: a doubling or tripling of the rate,” he said.

Yet exceeding still-unwritten flood standards is a ruefully far-fetched notion for New York and New Jersey residents, for whom mountains of ruined possessions are the immediate reality and rebuilding at all is a financially daunting question.

In Breezy Point, on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, Jimmy O’Meara, 66, a retired Wall Street executive, said he had the means to rebuild his 1930s-era bungalow, though he had no flood insurance. But he worried aloud that his neighbors — firefighters, police officers and retirees — could give up when they realize the costs of returning.

“I don’t want to live there alone,” he said. “If there’s no ceiling on the cost of insurance, it may dissuade people from rebuilding or staying. It could depopulate Breezy, if not just the threat of storms increases, but the cost of living there increases dramatically.”


November 30th, 2012, 09:39 AM
It sucks for people living in their dream homes who can't afford it any more but like the article says, why should we pay for somebody's beach house. There's plenty of real estate inland and on high ground. Of course you are free to live near the beach but you need to understand the risks and responsibilities

December 1st, 2012, 12:06 AM
Details on why Liberty Island will be closed for months.

Statue of Liberty Was Unscathed by Hurricane, but Its Home Took a Beating

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/12/01/nyregion/LIBERTY/LIBERTY-articleLarge.jpgÁngel Franco/The New York Times
Equipment on Liberty Island has been moved to high ground to dry out after Hurricane Sandy. The statue was not damaged. More Photos » (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/11/30/nyregion/LIBERTY.html)
By JAMES BARRON (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/james_barron/index.html)ublished: November 30, 2012

Add the following to the long list of items that took a beating when Hurricane Sandy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/h/hurricanes_and_tropical_storms/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) blasted by: a dock that was refashioned in the twisting, turning shape of a water slide; a sea wall that started to pull away from the shoreline; and a fence that took on a gaptoothed look when long sections were extracted.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2012/11/30/nyregion/LIBERTY-slide-SQFK/LIBERTY-slide-SQFK-thumbWide.jpgSlide Show (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/11/30/nyregion/LIBERTY.html?ref=nyregion)
Liberty Island Remains Battered After Storm (http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/11/30/nyregion/LIBERTY.html?ref=nyregion)

Follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/nytmetro/) and like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/NYTMetro/) for news and conversation.

Do not add the figure in the green dress that towers 305 feet over all that. The Statue of Liberty (http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/s/statue_of_liberty/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) is fine, said David Luchsinger, the superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/stli/index.htm) and probably the last full-time resident of Liberty Island.
Those last eight words mean: Put his house on the damaged list, too.
Until the storm hit, the superintendent had lived on the island in a house owned by the federal government that had postcard-perfect views of Lower Manhattan.
“It was pretty much demolished,” Mr. Luchsinger said during a tour of the island on Friday.
He closed the door and left the day before the hurricane arrived, and waited it out at a relative’s house in Holmdel, N.J., about 70 miles from where the storm charged ashore. “Closer to the hurricane than we were here,” he said, “but on dry land.”

By contrast, about 75 percent of Liberty Island’s 12 acres was underwater during the storm. Mr. Luchsinger (pronounced LOO-sing-er) said that water swirled toward the star-shaped early-19th-century fort that serves as the statue’s base. “It got close to the base,” he said, “but it didn’t make the base.”
Still, the information building and an administration building were flooded, as was the building that housed transformers for the island’s electrical system. Its backup generator was also ruined.
The statue, designed to sway in the wind, was unharmed. The National Park Service (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/national_park_service/index.html?inline=nyt-org) says it can move three inches in 50 mile per hour winds. The highest wind recorded during Hurricane Sandy was 94 m.p.h., at Eatons Neck, on the North Shore of Long Island.
On Liberty Island, the storm showered bricks from the walkways around the island and splintered boards on a dock that did not appear to have sustained major damage.
Mr. Luchsinger said that when he returned to the island on Oct. 30, the day after the storm hit, marble blocks that had anchored plaques by the sea wall had been carried halfway across the island. Trash-hauling bins, too, had migrated from one side of the island to the other.
The damage will keep the island closed for some time. Mr. Luchsinger said it was still too soon to know how much the repairs would cost or when the island or the statue might reopen. “Optimistically, I would say months,” he said. “I would not say weeks.”

Since the storm, a lot of work has been done to clean up Liberty Island. The half-dozen trees that came down have been cleared. Seaweed and debris churned up from New York Harbor have been swept away. Bulldozers and carts for Park Service rangers that were in garages have been pushed to the center of the island to dry out.
Divers have gone into the water to check dock pilings.
The statue has been lighted by temporary floodlights with electricity supplied by a generator. The hurricane hit the day after the crown had reopened to the building on the 126th anniversary of the statue’s dedication.
The reopening was a milestone in a $30-million renovation project to make the statue safer, with new elevators and fire alarms as well as a new air-conditioning system to make it more comfortable inside. Mr. Luchsinger said none of the new equipment inside the statue was damaged.
But his house now has what so many houses that were ravaged in the storm have: boarded-up windows and a doubtful future.
It “got walloped” when water surged through, blowing out windows and splitting the front door in two, he said. In all, the house took on about five feet of water.
“Coming in and seeing all your stuff just shoved to one side of the room was amazing,” he said, “but the really amazing part was all of my pictures were hanging on the wall.” A wind chime just inside the blown-out door was still where it had been before the storm.
Mr. Luchsinger said a guitar was on the mantel above the fireplace when he and his wife left before the storm. When he returned, it was in the kitchen, under the refrigerator, and the mantel was nowhere to be seen.
The house will probably be torn down, he said, and it will probably not be rebuilt. “Between climate change and sea-level rise, we want to build responsibly and sustainably,” he said. “The buildings on the back side of this island are not sustainable.”


December 3rd, 2012, 04:26 AM
Interest grows for major seascape projects to protect New York harbors from future storms

In post-Sandy New York, plans to harness New York Harbor and its surrounding waterways with such multibillion-dollar projects almost instantly turned more tangible than theoretical.

By Larry Mcshane
Gate locks barrier for storm surge near the Verazzano Narrows Bridge.

Picture an 80-foot rock barrier rising from the Atlantic Ocean, stretching for 5 miles from Breezy Point, Queens, to Sandy Hook, N.J. — and topped with a new highway.

Or a 1,700-foot wall spanning the Arthur Kill, featuring a pedestrian walkway, a bike path, hydroelectric power and a system of locks for passing ships.

Or maybe a towering structure in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge, with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, complete with twin 640-foot gates.

In post-Sandy New York, plans to harness New York Harbor and its surrounding waterways with such multibillion-dollar projects almost instantly turned more tangible than theoretical.

“I’ve been hearing a lot more people are interested,” said Jonathan Goldstick, a vice president at CH2M Hill, the global engineering/construction company behind the Breezy Point plan.

“I’m hearing politicians are getting interested,” he continued. “There’s a whole range of solutions to consider that people hadn’t heard of before the storm.”

Changing the seascape around the skyline became a hotter topic as the estimate for New York state damages climbed to a staggering $41.9 billion one month after the killer hurricane blew out of town.


The Arthur Kill plan, designed by CDM Smith, is a 1,700-foot wall that will include a walkway and bike path,
as well as locks for ships and a hydroelectric power plant.

Sandy’s aftermath created “the worst economic crisis in New York history,” said veteran Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.)

The record 14-foot storm surge contributed to the wind-whipped carnage: 43 New Yorkers killed, neighborhoods devastated, massive power outages across the five boroughs and beyond.

Seven East River subway tunnels were flooded out, along with the Battery Tunnel and sections of the PATH trains.

In the search for answers, it’s now like Robert Moses is battling King Poseidon in the globally-warmed waters around the nation’s largest city.

Proponents suggest the barriers — already successful in Russia’s St. Petersburg and across the flood-prone Netherlands — could prevent a disaster repeat.

Count City Council President Christine Quinn among that group. She’s proposed a $16 billion storm surge barrier as part of a possible plan to safeguard the city.

Count Mayor Bloomberg among the skeptics. After Sandy, he noted that “you can’t build a wall up to the sky.”

But you can build one to lessen the impact the next time a hurricane hits town, engineers and experts say — and the city has already endured two in as many years
“There’s no doubt that it’s doable,” said engineer Larry Murphy of CDM Smith, designer of the Arthur Kill proposal. “With back-to-back storms, the idea definitely has more legs and more political will.”

But even the long and expensive construction doesn’t guarantee the city can forever dodge a recurrence of Hurricane Sandy and its brutal fallout.

“You can make the probability much smaller, but it could still happen,” acknowledged Piet Dircke, a global water management expert with the Dutch firm Aracadis.

2 (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/interest-grows-major-seascape-projects-protect-new-york-harbors-article-1.1211607?pgno=1)

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/interest-grows-major-seascape-projects-protect-new-york-harbors-article-1.1211607 (https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/interest-grows-major-seascape-projects-protect-new-york-harbors-article-1.1211607)

December 3rd, 2012, 10:57 AM
Just a layman observation, but if a sea wall prevents a huge surge from entering New York Harbor, wouldn't that necessarily mean that everyone in front of the sea wall would get walloped with an even bigger surge? (such as everyone on staten island below the verazzano bridge area and everyone in Brooklyn from Fort Hamilton to Coney Island)

December 3rd, 2012, 12:14 PM
Not to mention the entire coast of Long Island, north and south shores, as well as those getting added surge coming from the north into the East River.

December 3rd, 2012, 01:17 PM
Details! :p

December 3rd, 2012, 03:51 PM
It sucks for people living in their dream homes who can't afford it any more but like the article says, why should we pay for somebody's beach house. There's plenty of real estate inland and on high ground. Of course you are free to live near the beach but you need to understand the risks and responsibilities

GG the problem is this.

Insurance is supposed to play the odds, with a bit leftover to take care of business.

Unfortunately, they do not do this. they focus on outrageous profit margins and do not keep enough capital liquid to be able to pay out when things like this happen.

This is NOT what people are paying for.

Insurance needs stricter regulations involving allowable profit and easily attainable funds for payout. People in high risk areas also need to pay up for these things as well (a base minimum coverage to facilitate relocation at LEAST).

But saying that people should all move inland... is kind of tough when this is something that has not happened in several lifetimes. I hope that this is not what we should expect as "regular", but if it becomes so.... then I guess we will not be able to have any "shore houses" in many areas along the coast anymore.

So, if they are no longer allowed, how will they get the money to relocate? They can't sell the house.....

December 3rd, 2012, 03:52 PM
Just a layman observation, but if a sea wall prevents a huge surge from entering New York Harbor, wouldn't that necessarily mean that everyone in front of the sea wall would get walloped with an even bigger surge? (such as everyone on staten island below the verazzano bridge area and everyone in Brooklyn from Fort Hamilton to Coney Island)


There may be marginal effects, but this is not like damming a river.

December 3rd, 2012, 04:22 PM
GG the problem is this.

Insurance is supposed to play the odds, with a bit leftover to take care of business.

Unfortunately, they do not do this. they focus on outrageous profit margins and do not keep enough capital liquid to be able to pay out when things like this happen.

This is NOT what people are paying for.

Insurance needs stricter regulations involving allowable profit and easily attainable funds for payout. People in high risk areas also need to pay up for these things as well (a base minimum coverage to facilitate relocation at LEAST).

But saying that people should all move inland... is kind of tough when this is something that has not happened in several lifetimes. I hope that this is not what we should expect as "regular", but if it becomes so.... then I guess we will not be able to have any "shore houses" in many areas along the coast anymore.

So, if they are no longer allowed, how will they get the money to relocate? They can't sell the house.....

From what I understand, beach area houses are un-insurable, which is where the federal flood insurance program comes into play. That program has provided subsidized rates relative to actual risk and rate increases have traditionally been capped. The cap is being bumped to something like 20% next year but still leaves a policy that is not in line with the actual risk.

I'm not saying people have to move inland, I'm saying that if they don't they should be on their own and not expect tax payers to bail them out. Those beachfront lots are worth a lot of money, certainly not as much without federal protection but still enough to take the proceeds and get a similar house in a different location. If they love their neighborhood and would never move, great, but they have to understand what they're potentially up against

December 3rd, 2012, 04:46 PM
Ugh I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. Whatever the least intrusive solution is I guess. The rock wall ain't happnin. You drive down 36 in Sea Bright and you can't even see the ocean for the wall. In the case of NY Harbor, maybe the locks would be best.

I can see GG's point. I know no shore owners want to here this, but maybe mandatory federal or even state flood insurance is in order if you have a primary residence down there. Secondaries wouldn't have to be mandatory but wouldn't be covered by any state or federal programs in a catastrophe, either. We already have mandatory auto liability, this isn't so far-fetched.

Not even people who lived in the middle of the island or peninsula thought the ocean meeting the bay would happen again in their lifetime, since it hadn't happened since '62 and before that '44. But to rebuild now on the same spot and expect the same results is insane. These people still don't know how much money they're getting from FEMA yet.

December 4th, 2012, 05:25 AM
Venice on the Hudson?

New York considers massive floodgates to protect against storms.

by Alex Ulam

Courtesy Arcadis

Hurricane Sandy has made it abundantly clear that addressing New York’s vulnerability to storm surges and rising sea levels is of paramount importance. Through the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, the Bloomberg Administration has commissioned a study of major flood barrier infrastructure, with a draft report due in February.

“This hurricane has put everything upside down,” said Jeroen Aerts. Aerts, a professor of environmental studies at the Free University of Amsterdam, spoke in a phone interview from Holland, where he has been working for the past few years on the draft report.

Aerts said that his instructions from the city were to do a cost-benefit analysis of two strategies. “One is looking at upgrading the current regulations—focusing more on building codes, zoning regulations, and flood insurance—as compared to developing levees and surge barriers,” he said.

Currently, Aerts and his team are analyzing two gate options. One, which would cost about $10 billion, involves a set of gates running between Sandy Hook and Breezy Point, and another in the East River in the area of Throgs Neck and the Whitestone Bridge. The second option, estimated to cost about $17 billion, involves three to four barriers that would cut off the Arthur Kill tidal strait between New Jersey and Staten Island, the Verrazano Narrows, the East River, and perhaps Jamaica Bay.

Determining whether or not gates are necessary may be one of the most critical decisions that elected officials make for the future of the New York City metropolitan region. Because of its low coastal settings and large population, New York is one of the areas most vulnerable to climate change in the United States.

Although Aerts’ report is not finished, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appears to be resistant to the idea of gates and levees. “I don’t know if there’s any kind of practical way to build barriers in the ocean, when you have an enormous harbor, like we do, and Long Island Sound,” the mayor said in a press conference in the aftermath of Sandy. “Even if you spent a fortune, it’s not clear to me you would get much value for it.” Governor Andrew Cuomo, however, has said such barriers might be necessary.

Some scientists, however, say that it is already clear that upgrading the city’s infrastructure to make it more resilient against future storms is not enough. “In a time of limited budget and economic stress, the mayor has done exactly the right thing, but you cannot flood-proof the city against a major catastrophe,” said Malcolm Bowman, a professor of Oceanography at State University of New York. “So there needs to be a longer-term plan that will weatherproof the city to a much higher degree.”

Bowman, who helped organize an American Society of Civil Engineers conference several years ago that warned of future devastating storms, said that floodgates could be designed to function as a roadway for vehicles and even trains going between New Jersey and Long Island.

“There is such a huge transportation bottleneck getting through New York City or Northern New Jersey,” Bowman said, adding, “I think that the gates could be hugely popular—there could even be a toll road there to pay for it.”

For his part, Aerts is reserving judgment. “I don’t have an opinion about floodgates,” he said, “What I can do is provide the relevant information on the basis of which you can make a decision.”


December 4th, 2012, 08:28 AM
There may be marginal effects, but this is not like damming a river.More like levees on a river. The Mississippi has a natural floodplain. When population centers along the river get protected, the water overflows at unprotected areas, and moves further inland.

The unprotected areas near a sea wall would get more flooding. It may not seem like much, but a one foot rise in water level could flood out several hundred additional feet inland.

It's a matter of how much real estate can be protected, and its value to the economy. Maximum protection would be gained by a wall stretching from Sandy Hook to the Rockaways, but that's five miles. The Narrows span is one mile, but its the deepest area of the harbor, I think about 90 feet. Except for a narrow channel in the center that was the ancient Hudson River, the sea floor between Sandy Hook and the Rockaways averages 30 - 40 feet.

December 4th, 2012, 11:41 AM
Zip, what I am saying is that that water/surge is too large to be effected by having a water inlet to use. The amount of water the Hudson could let in would not appreciably decrease the storm surge level. There is just too much ocean.

In the case of flood water and drainage going OUT, it make a huge difference. You get rid of any area that can retain alter (there are percentages and hold times for different terrain, from heavily wooded to asphalt). But that is a different animal.

Just to clarify my point, I do not believe there would be a significant change in storm surge water level at shore-points due to a Hurricane or other storm to be attributed to the use of a floodgate. The ocean will rise 9 feet regardless based on the difference in atmospheric pressure and the direction of the wind. Other sources of flooding (runoff, drainage) is another issue.

December 4th, 2012, 11:55 AM
Zip, what I am saying is that that water/surge is too large to be effected by having a water inlet to use. The amount of water the Hudson could let in would not appreciably decrease the storm surge level. There is just too much ocean.

In the case of flood water and drainage going OUT, it make a huge difference. You get rid of any area that can retain alter (there are percentages and hold times for different terrain, from heavily wooded to asphalt). But that is a different animal.

Just to clarify my point, I do not believe there would be a significant change in storm surge water level at shore-points due to a Hurricane or other storm to be attributed to the use of a floodgate. The ocean will rise 9 feet regardless based on the difference in atmospheric pressure and the direction of the wind. Other sources of flooding (runoff, drainage) is another issue.

I agree NH. Blocking the Narrows with a lock system would not result in "extra" flooding of SI or Long Island....not for a storm surge anyway. A low tsunami wave, if ever there was one coming this direction, may behave slightly differently once it breaks upon the lock system but that's an entirely different problem anyway and not what the locks would be designed for.


December 4th, 2012, 04:39 PM
Zip, what I am saying is that that water/surge is too large to be effected by having a water inlet to use. The amount of water the Hudson could let in would not appreciably decrease the storm surge level. There is just too much ocean.Storm surges are more complex and localized by topography, and not simply the ocean rising like a bathtub being filled.

There's a pretty good Wiki page on storm surges.

December 5th, 2012, 09:10 AM
I know what you are saying zip. I will read up on it.

December 5th, 2012, 11:15 AM
When the sea wall issue came up a few years ago on another thread, I found some research (maybe Woods Hole Oceanographic) that took USGS sea floor mapping data of New York Bay and ran models. It was found that while most of New York would be protected, places like Gravesend and Bensonhurst could be negatively impacted. I can't locate the info; if it's still there, it's buried among Sandy links.

Even in normal seas, the sea currents from the south are northward, but from the north, they're westward. There are two good graphics here (http://www.geo.hunter.cuny.edu/bight/sediment.html). Sand transport and growth of both Sandy Hook and the Rockaways are in toward the harbor. The second graphic shows how fast the Rockaways have grown, blunted only by the construction of the jetty. If left alone over the last century, it would have grown another three miles and make an engineered sea wall to Sandy Hook more economically viable.

Also, if the Rockaways was uninhabited, it would have formed a good natural barrier to storm surges. It would have looked like the Fort Tilden area, that returned to a natural state in less than 50 years. forming dune lines that protected upland woods from the sea. Barrier "wetlands" are really very dry, and soak up water quickly, but asphalt streets and houses with lawns turn the ecology upside down.

December 5th, 2012, 02:09 PM
Zip, I do not know how the beach stood up here: http://www.islandbeachnj.org/

But that would be a great example of how a stripped beach gets pummeled while a "natural" one has a it more backbone.

Unfortunately, even with the rules and laws about preserving the "natural" dunes, people still build as close as they can, kill the grass by walking all over it, and we end up with tiny little sand hills surrounded by "beach fencing" just to keep them around. They work against a storm, but not against something like this.

I will have to get the links, but someone I know had some pictures taken of the beach area around there.

December 5th, 2012, 04:37 PM
I love IBSP. It's like another world down there and you don't even feel like you're in NJ. Used to get season passes on a regular basis. There are signs posted to keep off the dunes, but the only fencing there are half-buried old cattle fences lining the trails from the parking spaces to the beaches. Confused though because the news showed non-residents on the peninsula taking pics of the destroyed amusement piers. Thought it was supposed to be closed for months? Maybe just LBI. Please post those pics. Anxious to see what happened in the park.

December 6th, 2012, 10:11 AM
I will see what I can get. My parents only have the area close to their place up by Ortley Beach. Everything else was closed off (and should be, or looters would get everything, including the things that are nailed down).

There are also photos from a co-workers friend that I might be able to commandeer, so long as I down-size them (in case someone decides to grab them w/o paying the man and use them... you know what I mean).

It is very sad what happened... and I hope they have the means to rebuild the community there. As much as the boardwalk was flashing lights and out-of-towners, Ortley was all "family"..... :.(

December 7th, 2012, 04:40 AM
Mayor Pledges to Rebuild and Fortify Coast


Before Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg spoke on Thursday, former Vice President Al Gore addressed the meeting and praised the mayor for his work on responding to climate change.

But while the mayor said he would aggressively pursue a rebuilding of the damaged waterfront, he warned that “there are no panaceas or magic bullets” to protect the city fully. And while he did, for the first time, specifically suggest dunes (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/04/science/earth/after-hurricane-sandy-dunes-prove-they-blunt-storms.html) or levees as protective measures worth exploring, he again dismissed the use of expensive experiments like sea gates stretching across New York Harbor (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/11/01/should-new-york-build-sea-gates).

It was Mr. Bloomberg’s first major address (http://on.nyc.gov/WLQEDH) on what the city should do in a post-hurricane world that, after the end of 2013, will also be a post-Bloomberg world. And the speech, which was televised live from a Lower Manhattan hotel that had been closed for two weeks because of the storm, had the bearing of a future-oriented State of the City event, with accompanying slides and even a surprise guest: former Vice President Al Gore.

Mr. Gore, now an environmental activist, repeatedly lavished praise on the mayor for his work on responding to climate change (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/globalwarming/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier), saying he does not “know of anybody who has done more.” Mr. Gore, a Democrat, even gently chided the Obama administration: “We cannot have four more years of mentioning this occasionally,” he said.

Mr. Bloomberg, an independent, offered a much kinder assessment, saying the federal government had been very responsive to the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy. But he also repeatedly sought to temper expectations of a quick solution, at one point stating bluntly, “Saying we’re going to spend whatever it takes just is not realistic.”

Among other ideas, Mr. Bloomberg said the city would consider the construction of dunes, jetties, levees (http://bit.ly/XvWmhQ) and berms (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/berm) along coastal areas to help reduce damage from future storm surges. He did not specify where any such barriers would be built, much less how much these would cost. But aides to the mayor said that three deputy mayors — Howard Wolfson, Linda I. Gibbs and Robert K. Steel — had recently traveled to New Orleans and met with officials there to discuss recovery, rebuilding and flood protection measures and lessons.

Height restrictions on some residential homes would be relaxed, Mr. Bloomberg said, so owners can elevate their houses above the flood plain. He also said the city would update its building code to require more stringent protection against floods. In particular, Bloomberg officials said that residential buildings — including single- and two-family homes — would need to be able to withstand waves and wind, and that new and reconstructed homes would need to be built above the current elevation levels required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reduce risks and insurance premiums.

Ordinarily, if small businesses that occupy residential zones were destroyed, they would not, under zoning rules, be allowed to rebuild there. But under Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal, those businesses would be allowed to do so, so long as they met floodproofing requirements in the soon-to-be-updated building code.

Mr. Bloomberg also vowed to update the city’s flood maps and said the city might extend the so-called Zone A (http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/hazards/storms_evaczones.shtml) evacuation area to include Howard Beach, Queens, and the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Gerritsen Beach and East Williamsburg, communities that were heavily and unexpectedly damaged by flooding from Hurricane Sandy. Indeed, his speech — which was warmly received by a crowd dominated by environmental and urban planning groups — elicited audible gasps when two maps (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycmayorsoffice/8249076041/in/photostream) showed that the areas flooded (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycmayorsoffice/8250142756/in/photostream) by the hurricane had far exceeded FEMA’s projected 100-year and 500-year flood zones for the city.

“Let me be clear,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “We are not going to abandon the waterfront. We are not going to leave the Rockaways or Coney Island or Staten Island’s South Shore.” But he added that the city “cannot just rebuild what was there and hope for the best.”

“We have to build smarter and stronger and more sustainable,” he added, while conceding that the city had yet “to determine exactly what that means.”

The mayor was characteristically frank in saying New York would remain vulnerable to extreme weather, particularly in an age of global warming. “No matter how much we do to make homes and businesses more resilient, the fact of the matter is, living next to the ocean comes with risks that we cannot eliminate,” he said.

With those risks in mind, Mr. Bloomberg said the city would “assess what steps need to be taken” to ensure that infrastructure networks, like transportation, telecommunications and hospitals, could withstand the impact of a Category 2 hurricane or a significant summer heat wave.

Mr. Bloomberg said he had held discussions with the chief executives of telephone and cable companies, and he announced that Consolidated Edison had pledged to spend $250 million to strengthen the defenses of its gas, steam and electric systems.

He said the city would be working to determine immediate steps to strengthen its infrastructure, but he offered few specifics. One idea was to reduce the dependence of telephone networks on copper wiring and to extend the backup battery life of the city’s cellular towers.

“You don’t have to be a believer in climate change to understand that the dangers from extreme weather are already here,” he said. “New Yorkers have never been shy about taking on big challenges and taking our destiny into our own hands.”


A King, Like the Mayor, Can’t Hold Back the Seas (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/nyregion/bloomberg-rejects-sea-walls-citing-tale-of-king-canute.html?ref=nyregion)

December 7th, 2012, 11:37 AM
I will see what I can get. My parents only have the area close to their place up by Ortley Beach. Everything else was closed off (and should be, or looters would get everything, including the things that are nailed down).

There are also photos from a co-workers friend that I might be able to commandeer, so long as I down-size them (in case someone decides to grab them w/o paying the man and use them... you know what I mean).

It is very sad what happened... and I hope they have the means to rebuild the community there. As much as the boardwalk was flashing lights and out-of-towners, Ortley was all "family"..... :.(

When I lived on Staten Island, I used to venture to Ortley Beach and Lovellette, mostly in the off-season, but sometimes in the summer as well. Walking along the beach in the fall was very calming; you got a different sense of the ocean than. I have great memories of being there with no one but the locals and their pets.

I used to stay in a place called the Lamplight; it was clean and comfortable if not luxurious - I don't even think the rooms had phones. I hope it is still there. I have very fond memories of that hotel as well as both towns.

Ninj, best wishes to your family. I really hope everything works out for them.

December 7th, 2012, 12:06 PM

This is an example.... this is the south boardwalk/entertainment pier.


This is about a half mile north. This was the "end" of the boardwalk, where you came in and could ride the ski-lift to the first pier. The brick building on the top right is the CVS store that everyone went to for suntan lotion, Arizona Tea or fever medicine for the kid at 2am... ;)


This was within walking distance of my parents place.

December 7th, 2012, 08:23 PM
So they removed the rest of the wood. Also that southern amusement pier had a layer of asphalt over about half of it. Not sure why. Down that end, the boardwalk is twice as wide with not just one lane (for lack of a better word) but two lanes of shops & food places. What a mess and it ate that whole area right up like the buildings were just Monopoly pieces.

The north end was quiet for the last few years. They took down the Wine Cellar for condos that haven't been built yet, and that Treasure Island Arcade closed a couple of years ago. Not sure if anything was built or just an empty lot. Every time I think I've seen all I can see something even more incredible shows up. What a shame, but I hope they surprise everyone at least a little by Memorial Day. Thanks for posting the pics.

December 8th, 2012, 11:53 PM
"I don't know that anyone believed," acknowledged Gov. Andrew Cuomo this past week. "We had never seen a storm like this. So it is very hard to anticipate something that you have never experienced."

Human beings never learn. Just because there's no evidence or it hasn't happened doesn't mean it won't. The we'll-worry-about-it-after-it-happens attitude keeps getting us into a lot of trouble. But then, of course, most of the victims of Katrina and Sandy don't seem to matter, do they? Wrong percentage. Same old, same old.

Belief is not the point; it's thinking ahead and preparedness, which is not that hard. There's been plenty of past experience.

New York Mostly Ignored Reports Warning Of Superstorm


ALBANY, N.Y. — More than three decades before Superstorm Sandy, a state law and a series of legislative reports began warning New York politicians to prepare for a storm of historic proportions, spelling out scenarios eerily similar to what actually happened: a towering storm surge; overwhelming flooding; swamped subway lines; widespread power outages. The Rockaway peninsula was deemed among the "most at risk."

But most of the warnings and a requirement in a 1978 law to create a regularly updated plan for the restoration of "vital services" after a storm went mostly unheeded, either because of tight budgets or the lack of political will to prepare for a hypothetical storm that may never hit.

Some of the thorniest problems after Sandy, including a gasoline shortage, the lack of temporary housing and the flooding of commuter tunnels, ended up being dealt with largely on the fly.

"I don't know that anyone believed," acknowledged Gov. Andrew Cuomo this past week. "We had never seen a storm like this. So it is very hard to anticipate something that you have never experienced."

Asked how well prepared state officials were for Sandy, Cuomo said, "not well enough."

It wasn't as if the legislative actions over the years were subtle. They all had a common, emphatic theme: Act immediately before it's too late.

The 1978 executive law required a standing state Disaster Preparedness Commission to meet at least twice a year to create and update disaster plans. It mandated the state to address temporary housing needs after a disaster, create a detailed plan to restore services, maintain sewage treatment, prevent fires, assure generators "sufficient to supply" nursing homes and other health facilities, and "protect and assure uninterrupted delivery of services, medicines, water, food, energy and fuel."

Reports in 2005, 2006 and 2010 added urgency. "It's not a question of whether a strong hurricane will hit New York City," the 2006 Assembly report warned. "It's just a question of when."

A 2010 task force report to the Legislature concluded: "The combination of rising sea level, continuing climate change, and more development in high-risk areas has raised the level of New York's vulnerability to coast storms. ... The challenge is real, and sea level rise will progress regardless of New York's response."

The Disaster Preparedness Commission met biannually some years, but there are gaps in which there is no record of a meeting. However, some administrations, including Cuomo's, convened many of the same agency heads to discuss emergency management. But even under Cuomo, who has taken a much greater interest in emergency management after three violent storms in his first two years in office, there are still three vacancies on the commission.

Richard Brodsky, a former New York Democratic assemblyman who was chairman of the committee that created the 2006 report, credits administrations with making some improvements to the plan in recent years, such as requiring a specific plan to protect and evacuate the infirmed and to save pets.

"But on two issues related to Sandy – prevention and recovery – they did almost nothing," Brodsky said. "If Goldman Sachs was smart enough to sandbag its building, why wasn't the MTA smart enough to sandbag the Battery Tunnel?"

Sandy flooded both tubes of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, now called the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, which was one of the major and longest transportation disruptions of the storm. It also ravaged the Rockaways in Queens, particularly the waterfront community of Breezy Point, where roughly 100 homes burned to the ground in a massive wind-swept fire.

Among the other crises Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg faced on a daily basis during Sandy were the shortage of temporary housing, which continues, the long disruption of electricity and gasoline, generators in health care facilities swamped by floodwaters, restoring power from swamped electrical infrastructure and repairing commuter rail lines.

The warnings touched on many of these areas, but mostly in a broad way with few specific directions for action. Some areas, such as a shortage of shelters in New York City and repairing commuter rail lines quickly, have improved in recent years to some degree, but other areas such as making sure health facility generators are on upper floors are newly realized problems forced by Sandy, according to the former legislators.

"What you've got here is a great number of consequences that were foreseeable, but unforeseen," Brodsky said. "Prevention is politically less sexy than disaster response."

There was another obstacle to enacting calls for more preparation: funding. The state and city were each facing $1 billion deficits from a slow economic recovery before Sandy hit.

"As your budget shrinks, the first thing that goes out the door is emergency management, the first thing," said Michael Balboni, New York's disaster preparedness point man in the Republican-led Senate and in the Democratic Spitzer and Paterson administrations from 2001 to 2009.

"To take the 1978 law and really enable it, you need to put a ton of money behind it and there was no political will to do it," said Balboni, who now heads an emergency management firm in Manhattan.

Cuomo is now asking the federal government for more than $32 billion to cover the immediate costs triggered by Sandy, and an additional $9 billion for preventive measures to better protect the area for the next big storm.

The Cuomo administration insists that it has had robust emergency planning and clearly made important changes after tropical storms Irene and Lee slammed much of upstate and threw a scare into New York City in 2011. The administration created three regional disaster logistics centers and conducted training and exercises and, before Sandy, took extensive preparatory steps learned from Irene to "preposition" equipment and top staff and National Guard troops around the state.

"These initiatives were intended to strengthen the existing emergency response infrastructure which had not previously been a priority for the state before Gov. Cuomo took office," the administration told the AP in a statement.

Spokesmen for previous administrations and for Bloomberg didn't respond to requests for comment.

Like the state, the city has talked up storm preparedness in a series of hurricane and climate change plans since 2000. And it has taken some concrete steps, such as requiring some new developments in flood zones to be elevated, eliminating roadblocks to putting boilers and electrical equipment above the ground and restoring wetlands as natural storm-surge barriers.

Still, the city wasn't expecting Sandy, Bloomberg said in a speech this past week. The Federal Emergency Management Agency had figured there was only a 1 percent chance that the Battery in lower Manhattan would see the 14 feet of water Sandy sent in, he said; the previous record, set in 1960, was 11 feet.

Bloomberg said the city would reassess building codes and evacuation zone borders, look at ways to flood-proof power and transportation networks, make sure hospitals are better prepared and do an engineering analysis of whether to build levees, dunes or other structures to protect the coast.


December 11th, 2012, 11:16 AM
Failure by the state to comply with that law could open up all sorts of liabilities.

December 14th, 2012, 08:27 PM
Even the World's Top Experts Aren't Sure What New York Should Do to Prevent Another Sandy

by Sarah Goodyear

At a half-day conference called "New York City (SOS) Sink or Swim," the Municipal Art Society of New York and the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University had assembled an impressive group of speakers and panelists, including two Obama cabinet members, Shaun Donovan and Ken Salazar. Just six weeks after Sandy smacked the city upside the head with a cold wave of reality, this roomful of smart people was discussing the question that’s on everyone’s mind: How can we rebuild and retrofit the city so that it won’t be swamped by the next superstorm – which, as everyone present acknowledged, could be coming any time now?

The question of just what the city needs to do to protect itself is wide open.

Headlining was Donovan, the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who was named by President Obama to head a federal task force coordinating the recovery effort.

Donovan's brief from the president includes coordinating stakeholders, creating a comprehensive regional plan, cutting through red tape, and managing and monitoring the flow of federal funds. "The recovery effort must be driven by resilience and rebuilding smart, rather than simply recreating what was already there," said Donovan, who said that long-term planning needs to start immediately, as it did not after Hurricane Katrina.

He emphasized the importance of making sure that federal dollars are not wasted on temporary fixes. “In many places we can and will rebuild," he said. "But not without additional measures to ensure the investments we’re making in these communities are protected from future disasters.”
Federal studies have shown, said Donovan, that investing in disaster mitigation as part of the rebuilding process pays off, saving $4 in future disaster costs for every dollar spent. But it entails some potentially painful decisions.

"This type of more thoughtful planning process ensures that we ask ourselves, Can we rebuild what was here before? And more importantly, should we?" said Donovan. "These questions are not just complicated from a construction and planning point of view. They cut to the heart of how we define out communities and what gives us a sense of place…. We need to harness this momentum to address weaknesses we’ve known about for years. We have to recognize that homes that wash away and substations in flood zones must become a thing of the past."

Just how many billions of dollars the feds will be funneling into the region to fuel this complex planning process remains unknown. Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey have supported the president’s request to Congress for some $60 billion in aid.

What is clear, as several of the panelists pointed out, is that the money will be deployed in an environment where dozens of different city, state, and federal agencies are at work, so far without an overarching authority to coordinate them.

"We have huge tools at hand," said Eugenie Birch, co-chair of the UN-HABITAT’s World Urban Campaign and a former member of the city’s planning commission. "But what don’t we have? We don’t have an integrated information system. We don’t have a coordinating agency…. So my plea to all of us is to come up with and advocate for a solution that is going to put the leadership in the right place."

Christopher Ward, formerly executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and commissioner of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, was even more blunt in his assessment of the deficits. "Do we have the mechanisms we need?" wondered Ward, who now works for the U.S. arm of the Spanish construction giant Dragados. "No, we don’t. We need to face the political challenges that face us." Ward noted that "we do not have adequate funding for what we wanted to do before Sandy," and that the added financial burden of hardening infrastructure for a future in which climate change and rising sea levels are suddenly very real will present a significant challenge.

Even putting political and financial considerations aside, the day’s speakers acknowledged, the question of just what the city needs to do to protect itself is wide open. Enormous sea walls? Wetland restoration projects? Coastal dunes? Retreat from the shoreline? All these possibilities are on the table, but no one knows what, if anything, will work.

If anyone does know, surely it would be the Dutch, who have more experience living with water and its perils than perhaps any other nation in the world. Two representatives from the Netherlands were present, and you got the impression that they were somewhat amused by the attention their tiny nation has gotten from the people of the city once called New Amsterdam since Sandy hit.

"The Dutch have struggled with water for 800 years," said Dale Morris, a senior economist at the Royal Netherlands Embassy who directs the Dutch government’s water management network in Louisiana, Florida, and California. Over that time, he made clear, the nation has created exactly the kind of overarching approach that the U.S. lacks. "The Netherlands has a water plan for every community."

That plan, he and Jos van Alphen of the Netherlands' Delta Commission made clear, is not just a sea wall, or just beach protection, or just soft infrastructure such as oyster reefs. It is all those things, along with a government commitment -- written into law -- to protect its people from flooding. “The work is never done,” said van Alphen, who said his nation’s attitude was to plan for the worst with a flexible strategy encompassing multiple approaches. "We think uncertainty should not be an excuse to wait and see."

The political environment of the United States is very different, suggested New York’s deputy mayor for economic development, Bob Steel. "The reality in our government is that consensus has to be built over time."

But that time, many of the conference participants seemed to agree, may be running out. If it hasn’t already.


December 16th, 2012, 12:51 PM
Now that's hefty.

NYC teachers' fund pledges $1 billion in Sandy aid

http://col.stb.s-msn.com/amnews/i/a3/94779981d88e4c15af3a276a8e39a4_h366_w650_m6_lfalse .jpg
Reuters Photo: Lucas Jackson. Superstorm Sandy recovery: A couple walks through destroyed sections of boardwalk ripped apart by Superstorm Sandy in the Rockaways area of New York on Nov. 4, 2012. IMAGE

http://col.stb.s-msn.com/amnews/i/e3/12e7ff08bf55a6d7449b766b4e23c_h17_w0_m6_lfalse.jpg 2 days ago

A New York teachers' pension fund will invest $1 billion to repair roads and bridges and potentially rebuild housing damaged by Superstorm Sandy, it was announced Thursday.

NEW YORK (http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?form=MSNNDL&q=New York, New York, United States) — A pension fund for city teachers is pledging $1 billion in new investments toward repairing roads and bridges damaged by Superstorm Sandy and other infrastructure projects.
The New York City Teachers Retirement System is making the pledge through a project of the Clinton Global Initiative, started in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton, who made the announcement Thursday.
The pension fund money will go to projects that affect transportation, power, water, communications and housing in New York City and the surrounding metropolitan region.
The projects could include rebuilding housing destroyed by the late October storm, which killed at least 140 people in 10 states but hit New York and New Jersey the hardest, flooding neighborhoods and knocking out power to some residents for weeks.
The money, besides contributing to the repair and upgrade of facilities used by hundreds of thousands of people, could create thousands of jobs, the Clinton Global Initiative said in a statement on its website.
Clinton was joined by Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, city Comptroller John Liu and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in announcing the $1 billion allocation. They said the funds would strengthen infrastructure so New York is better protected from the rising sea levels, droughts and storms that coincide with climate change.
"Together the work will benefit our future not only in terms of more efficient buildings and reducing the threat of climate change, but also in the lives of teachers, construction workers and in lowering energy costs for people all over America," Clinton said. "This is a remarkable commitment."
Donovan, a key figure on President Barack Obama's long-term Sandy recovery effort, said he hoped the commitment of the Teachers Retirement System will "inspire and encourage" others.
"This infusion of private capital is like seed money that will allow us to address not only the recovery from Sandy but also the underlying infrastructure challenges that our communities face," he said.
The Teachers Retirement System manages assets of about $46 billion for 110,000 current members and 80,000 retirees.


January 2nd, 2013, 01:20 PM
These people are truly slime. Roy Blount for instance is quoted as saying the following:

Senator Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, suggested that the aid request was harmed by its size.
“Sometimes when you ask for too much, you don’t get anything,”

BTW, this has not been a great week for Boehner, who by now must be just about willing to give up his leadership position.

Elected officials from the New York area erupted with outrage on Wednesday after the House refused to take up a federal aid package for states that suffered damages from Hurricane Sandy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/h/hurricanes_and_tropical_storms/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier), and even local Republicans blasted their Congressional leaders for their inaction.

“I’m saying right now, anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to Congressional Republicans is out of their minds,” Representative Peter T. King, a Long Island Republican, said during an interview on CNN on Wednesday morning. “Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.”

And Representative Michael G. Grimm, a Republican from Staten Island, said the failure to vote was a “betrayal.” He urged that action be taken as soon as possible.

“It’s not about politics,” he said. “It’s about human lives.”

Last week, the Senate adopted a $60.4 billion aid package, and on Wednesday Mr. King and other local politicians said they had been promised that the House would bring it up for a vote before the current legislative session ends on Thursday.

That is unlikely now, and the aid bill will have to be reintroduced in the new Congress and passed by both chambers.



January 3rd, 2013, 11:28 PM
^ Unbelievable.

Ideas for Fixing New York Before Next Big Storm

By Laura Nahmias

As a congressional delay put into potential jeopardy $60 billion in federal aid to rebuild from superstorm Sandy (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324374004578217773263944866.html?m od=WSJ_NY_MIDDLELEADNewsCollection), leaders tapped by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are scheduled to issue recommendations Thursday for how the state should spend some of the money.

Three commissions have been reviewing ways the state can better prepare and respond to future natural disasters like Sandy, which cut a path of devastation in and around New York City when it struck on Oct. 29.

One of the panels, the NYS 2100 Commission, has the mission to find ways to harden infrastructure in the face of future emergencies. Co-chaired by Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin and Felix Rohatyn, the group released a preliminary report in late December. Its recommendations haven’t been previously reported.

The 170-page-long preliminary report was general in its outline of dozens of ideas for preparations, said one commissioner familiar with the document. It included no cost estimates for some proposals likely to be expensive.

But New York stands to receive billions of dollars from the federal government if House lawmakers pass an aid package to help with rebuilding. President Barack Obama supports the measure, which had already passed in the U.S. Senate before House Speaker John Boehner delayed the vote on Tuesday night.

Many of the measures proposed require no new laws, the commissioner said, and could be done simply through the directive of state agencies like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Public Service Commission.

The commission’s final report may differ from the initial one, but some of the preliminary recommendations include:

strengthening surface rapid-transit networks, such as buses
building man-made barrier islands in New York Harbor
placing sturdy, inflatable balloons inside subway tunnels that could seal off the system from incoming water
creating a tiered set of protections for the transit system so that there would always be one fail-safe avenue for first responders and utility crews to use in the event of a storm
decentralizing electricity generation by enforcing more networks of cogeneration, combined heat and power, and solar power
making investments in smart-grid technology, a kind of advanced metering that allows utility companies and customers to receive real-time information about how much energy they are using
forcing utilities and energy providers to reinforce the electrical systems around their gas pumps to prevent power outages from creating gasoline shortages
creating larger, more diverse storage systems for reserve gasoline
preserving wetlands areas from development to help absorb floodwaters during and after storms.


January 4th, 2013, 12:03 AM
All hands on deck to protect Metropolitan New York

by Vishaan Chakrabarti

Proposal for LoLo, an extension of Lower Manhattan with barrier islands.
Muchan Park, Luc Wilson, Leigh D'Ambra, Scott Hayner with Laurie Hawkinson and Risa Heller

The tragedy of Hurricane Sandy has raised many profound questions for us. Some may worry about the vulnerability of big cities, asking whether, when we concentrate density, do we put too much in harm’s way? Some may worry about our financial system, asking, should the NYSE remain in Lower Manhattan? Some may worry about subways: Should we be so reliant on mass transit? And some already may have questioned coastal development: Should we build big along urban waterfronts?

The answer to each question is a resounding yes, with some caveats. Far too much financial infrastructure is located downtown to consider relocating our financial district, but we should ensure that there are off-site redundancies. Far more environmental benefit than risk comes from our reliance on subways, but we should find the means to better protect our tunnels against flooding. Over 300,000 New Yorkers live in the low-lying areas known collectively as Zone A, and it would be unthinkable to relocate most of them; but for the large, new buildings where these people live and work, we should create critical mechanical systems and fuel oil above a newly established floodplain.

Too much joy derives from our unfolding, new five-borough waterfront park system for us to suddenly cut and run, but we should design public spaces along the waterfront to flood and retain water. Finally, as my forthcoming book, A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban American, explains, cities are our best chance for an economically, environmentally, and socially stronger nation and planet.

But the answer to the first question, regarding the downside of density, is still yes: Yes, too much of our urban environment is in harm’s way. The solution, however, isn’t to throw the urban baby out with the bath water of rising seas. As Governor Cuomo suggested during his recent press conferences, we must instead redesign our infrastructure to defend against the tide of climate change.

A newly energized President Obama, in collaboration with Governors Cuomo, Christie, and Mayor Bloomberg, should convene a senior level Harbor Protection Commission to produce recommendations for new infrastructure that protects our low-lying areas. This commission should include all three levels of government, plus business leaders; community representatives; civic voices; and experts in engineering, design, development, and marine science. Experts from Columbia, Princeton, and Stony Brook universities who have been studying the problem for years, and the insights offered by participants in MoMA’s Rising Currents exhibit, should certainly be brought to bear in this picture.

Initially, the commission should ensure that the generous aid from federal reconstruction funds goes to good use, by replacing as much obsolete infrastructure as we can with new, more resilient technologies. But the larger task for the commission is to identify the best medium and long-term solutions for protecting our harbor and coastlines.

No idea should be taken off the table, given the millions of lives and billions of dollars at stake. Environmental sacred cows, such as the regulations that prohibit us from reshaping our shoreline or building in the water to protect ourselves, must be slain. Dense, properly designed new development, which could help us pay for the costs of flood protection and create a new front line of waterfront defense, must be considered.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/vishaan_newyork_lolo_02.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/vishaan_newyork_lolo_02.jpg)
Site plan for the LoLo Proposal.
Muchan Park, Luc Wilson, Leigh D'Ambra, Scott Hayner with Laurie Hawkinson and Risa Heller

In fact, as the post-Sandy period now unfolds, the advantages of high-density, transit-rich coastal environments are becoming increasingly apparent: Consider the robustness and inherent resilience, in Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, of the local buildings, centralized underground power system, and mass transit system.

Though impacted somewhat by the storm, these structures were by and large able to recover at a rapid pace. By contrast, low-density areas with houses built near the coast—or worse, along barrier beaches—proved painfully vulnerable, particularly those coupled with above-grade power lines. Whether in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, or along the Gulf Coast, this kind of housing suffers terribly during storm surges. This scenario is a mistake our region should not repeat, for the sake of all who live in such communities. Barrier beaches should be restored to perform their natural function—protect the coast—which is something they cannot do where housing tears up the dune layer and makes itself a target. In lieu of developments in these areas, we should build replacement housing to greater densities farther inland, thus preventing repeat tragedies.

Ironically, as Hurricane Sandy made landfall, a group of us from Columbia University were in Rotterdam to examine innovative forms of waterfront development. No one knows water like the Dutch, considering their history of fending off threats from flooding. Their time-tested solutions include the enormous Maelstrom Barrier—massive sea gates at the mouth of the Rhine built in the late 1990s. The Barrier is a solution that, given the expanse of our own harbor, may or may not work here. But the Dutch are also experts at using dredge material to build “soft edges,” or artificial barrier islands that absorb the energy of storm surges and create natural habitat.

Two years ago, our Columbia students proposed a similar strategy to protect Lower Manhattan by recycling the dredge material that is a continuous byproduct of maintaining deep shipping channels in the harbor. They proposed using this dredge to not only create barrier islands, but also a magnificent new flood-resistant neighborhood called “LoLo” that would fund the construction. Unlike many such proposals for artificial barrier islands, the LoLo concept would create a new front line for Lower Manhattan that would pay for itself, a factor that is essential if we are serious about climate change protection in an economically challenged era.

The facts of global warming have become indisputable. The mayor has called for evacuations twice in a little over a year, an action for which I can find no weather-related precedent in the three centuries New York has been a city. A nearly 14-foot storm surge breached our shores due to a record-breaking low-pressure system. And now, with the oceans warming, we must wonder how long before Category 1 storms become Category 2, and how long before Zone C transforms into Zone A? While we must adopt every reasonable measure to reduce our carbon footprint, it is time to also consider extraordinary measures to protect our city and ourselves. We must take the recommendations of the proposed Harbor Protection Commission and construct the defenses we require. This has been a terrible tragedy for the city, the region, and the country. Let’s not allow its lessons to go to waste.


January 6th, 2013, 09:00 PM
The article really didn't go into detail regarding the barrier island idea, but to me it just doesn't make sense. Water will follow the path of least resistance, go right around/over the unpopulated barrier island and right onto the populated one. What are they going to do when that gets flooded? And it will. Create an even more populated area with barrier islands with the idea of keeping water away from lower Manhattan? There has to be a better solution than clogging up the beautiful harbor even further.

Finally, as my forthcoming book, A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban American, explains, cities are our best chance for an economically, environmentally, and socially stronger nation and planet.

I disagree on the environmental part. Look what just happened to what many think is the most advanced city in the world. Plus, we have polluted waterways that are lagging along as far as cleanup efforts are concerned. NY may have to get ideas from other countries this time, as they did from Italy for the slurry wall for the original WTC.

Right here in this thread, the beginning of a lesson in how to do things right. Doesn't have to be as generic, but it's a start. Post #70.


January 8th, 2013, 10:05 AM
Jon Stewart sounds off on the House and the Hurricane.


January 8th, 2013, 12:27 PM
I will have to watch the repeat tonight........ (curse you early bedtime!!!!!)

January 8th, 2013, 01:20 PM
I will have to watch the repeat tonight........ (curse you early bedtime!!!!!)

Personally I DVR both he and Colbert.

January 8th, 2013, 02:33 PM
Sandy is still hurting people...


January 8th, 2013, 03:22 PM
Those 5 people were last overheard saying, "I'm going to go up if it's the last thing I do damnit, I don't care which way the escalator is moving!!" ;)

January 9th, 2013, 09:02 AM
I come up this way every day and always take the stairs in the interest of some exercise. The lack of fitness in the general population is embarrassingly evident when you see others trying to climb them.

January 9th, 2013, 12:02 PM
Those 5 people were last overheard saying, "I'm going to go up if it's the last thing I do damnit, I don't care which way the escalator is moving!!" ;)

At first that's what I thought, too. But actually they were trying to escape from whatever hell they thought awaited them at the bottom.

January 9th, 2013, 12:28 PM
I think it was mostly a jedi mind trick. If people had calmly realized that they should not be trying to go up a descending escalator, there would have been no problem. But humans acting as they do "animalistically", fear and panic set in that they were being dragged by a machine against their will when in fact a similar machine was doing the same thing next to it with no concern

January 9th, 2013, 02:24 PM
No, the problem came when the people at the bottom did not:

a) Get the hell out of the way
b) Hit the "stop in case of emergency" button.

January 9th, 2013, 02:39 PM
^ This.

January 9th, 2013, 02:51 PM
A quick 180 degree turn by a few dozen people would have made this "danger" a regular escalator ride.

January 9th, 2013, 03:35 PM
People aren't at their best first thing in the morning.

January 10th, 2013, 09:22 AM
People are not the best when you force them to think when they are not expecting it.

Look at our elections ;P.

February 5th, 2013, 04:44 AM
Cuomo Seeking Home Buyouts in Flood Zones

Karsten Moran for The New York Times
Joseph Tirone Jr., a homeowner, leads the Oakwood Beach Buyout Committee on Staten Island.
“These people have been so beat up,” said Mr. Tirone. “It’s just gotten to be too much.”


The foundation is all that remains of 45 Kissam Avenue on Staten Island. Many homes were irrevocably damaged during the storm and work crews have been demolishing what remains of them.

The purchase program, which still requires approval from federal officials, would be among the most ambitious ever undertaken, not only in scale but also in how Mr. Cuomo would be using the money to begin reshaping coastal land use. Residents living in flood plains with homes that were significantly damaged would be offered the pre-storm value of their houses to relocate; those in even more vulnerable areas would be offered a bonus to sell; and in a small number of highly flood-prone areas, the state would double the bonus if an entire block of homeowners agreed to leave.

The land would never be built on again. Some properties could be turned into dunes, wetlands or other natural buffers that would help protect coastal communities from ferocious storms; other parcels could be combined and turned into public parkland.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which swept through the region on Oct. 29, Mr. Cuomo has adamantly maintained that New York needs to reconsider the way it develops its coast. He has repeatedly spoken, in blunt terms, about the consequences of climate change, noting that he has responded to more extreme weather in his first two years as governor than his father, Mario M. Cuomo, did in his 12 years in the job. Last month, in his State of the State address (https://www.governor.ny.gov/press/01092013sostranscript), he raised the prospect of home buyouts, declaring “there are some parcels that Mother Nature owns.”
“She may only visit once every few years,” Mr. Cuomo said, “but she owns the parcel and when she comes to visit, she visits.”

Mr. Cuomo’s proposal comes as lawmakers, disaster experts and residents debate what steps New York should take to fortify itself against extreme weather. The Cuomo administration has enlisted experts (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/nyregion/new-york-state-storm-panel-recommends-major-changes.html) to study a range of approaches, from installing storm barriers with movable gates to returning oyster beds to some of the state’s shoreline.

Any reshaping of the coastline will be not only costly, but also difficult. Many residents of shoreline communities in New York City and on Long Island live in homes that have been passed along from generation to generation, and are not eager to hear government officials suggest that they move elsewhere, even voluntarily.

“There is a loyalty here,” said Harvey Weisenberg, a longtime lifeguard in Long Beach, N.Y., who represents the storm-tossed community in the State Assembly, as a Democrat. “There’s an expression: we have the sand in our shoes. Once you’re here, you never want to leave, and if you do leave, you want to come back.”

Aides to Mr. Cuomo met with federal officials in Washington on Friday to present their hurricane response plan, including the proposed buyout program, which would be paid for using a portion of the $51 billion disaster relief package approved by Congress last week (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/nyregion/congress-gives-final-approval-to-hurricane-sandy-aid.html?smid=pl-share).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has financed the purchase of homes (http://www.fema.gov/application-development-process/hazard-mitigation-assistance-property-acquisition-buyouts) in disaster-stricken areas for two decades. Hundreds of property owners in upstate New York decided to pursue buyouts after Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, though no sales have been finalized, according to state emergency management officials.

Mr. Cuomo is proposing a far broader program for homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy, using money from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, an agency Mr. Cuomo once headed.

The buyout program requires approval from the federal housing agency. The governor’s office said federal officials seemed receptive to their proposal, and that Mr. Cuomo hoped the program would be approved and that he could announce details in the next two weeks.

A spokesman for the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, which President Obama created in December, said Sunday that it is too soon to say whether the state will be allowed to proceed.

“It’s premature to speculate on whether this particular plan would be approved,” the spokesman, Brendan C. Gilfillan, said by e-mail. Mr. Gilfillan said that the federal housing agency needed some time because “prior to Friday, New York state had been slower to share its plans” than New York City and New Jersey; the Cuomo administration said it is in regular communication with federal officials about its plans, and believes it is moving more quickly than other jurisdictions.

For the 10,000 or so homes in the 100-year flood plain that were substantially damaged by Hurricane Sandy, Mr. Cuomo would offer owners the pre-storm full market value of their houses.

Homeowners who chose to relocate within their home county would receive a 5 percent bonus above the market value, as part of a government effort to encourage them to stay nearby. State officials said they were planning for the possibility that 10 to 15 percent of those eligible would take the buyout.

Residents of more vulnerable areas would receive a further enticement: they would be allowed to sell their homes even if the homes suffered little, or possibly even no, damage from the hurricane, and the state would pay them an additional 10 percent bonus, above market value, to sweeten the deal.

In a few dozen blocks located in areas of extreme risk, the state would offer another 10 percent bonus if every homeowner on the block agreed to sell. Local officials would be expected to determine how best to use the new open space, though they would not be allowed to build on it.

Lawmakers from storm-ravaged neighborhoods said they welcomed the program, though, in most cases, they expected a relatively small number of residents to participate. They said buyouts could appeal to residents worried about rising flood insurance premiums, as well as those who have listed their homes for sale in recent months, only to find potential buyers willing to pay only a fraction of what they might have offered before the storm. (The program is not targeted at the most expensive waterfront homes (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/nyregion/marketing-weather-battered-rockaways-properties-as-is.html); it would cap the payments for houses at around the median home value in a given neighborhood.)

On the eastern shore of Staten Island, virtually an entire neighborhood, the Fox Beach section of Oakwood Beach, has decided it wants to move. In the neighborhood, which has long been tormented by routine flooding as well as brush fires, 133 of 165 households have signed up to take a buyout if one is offered, according to Joseph Tirone Jr., the leader of the Oakwood Beach Buyout Committee.

“These people have been so beat up,” said Mr. Tirone, a real estate investor who owns a bungalow on Fox Beach Avenue that flooded during the storm. “It’s just gotten to be too much.”

Another committee member, Tina Downer, said, simply, “We don’t have the fight enough to stay any more.” Ms. Downer said her house, set about 300 yards from the shoreline, was inundated by a storm surge of at least 13 feet, and said she has now concluded that the neighborhood should “return to nature and do what it was intended to do, which is to be a sponge.”

But in the Rockaways, Cynthia Koulouris, a resident for 41 years, said she was not going anywhere, even though her basement flooded and her neighbor’s house burned down during the storm.

“Nobody wants to leave here,” she said. “Where would I go? To Astoria? To Brooklyn? No!”

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., a Democrat who represents Howard Beach, Broad Channel and the Rockaways, said that in his district (http://www.urbanresearchmaps.org/nyredistricting/map.html?lat=40.61354&lon=-73.88841&zoom=11&identify=-73.828667104125%2C%2040.574435473875&popup=true&maptype=OVERLAY&districttype=SENATE) of more than 300,000 people, perhaps three had asked him for information about selling their homes to the government. “These are residents that chose to live by the water,” he said. “They’re not going anywhere.”


February 5th, 2013, 08:56 AM
My parents are in a similar situation on the Jersey shore.... I just hope that an offer like this comes through for some of these municipalities.

Unfortunately, any buyout would mean a COMPLETE REMOVAL of the ENTIRE TOWNSHIP in some regions.

I think the only way something like this could work would be with the purchasing of all private property and the selective leasing of some of it back for rental property (hotels, etc) and entertainment facilities (boardwalks, piers).

Basically, make it so that 90% of the stuff down there is not permanent living facilities.

It would be VERY sad, but any storm that came through, even if it destroyed EVERYTHING on the barrier islands, would still be able to be handled....

The problem is, much like other areas, that "vacation" spots have slowly converted into full residential areas. That can't work in an area that, even before climate change, was prone to damage like this....

February 5th, 2013, 10:32 AM
The problem is, much like other areas, that "vacation" spots have slowly converted into full residential areas.Nowhere is that more weird than at the Rockaways. There is almost no area acknowledgement of the ocean beach (maybe the most spectacular in NYC) or the bay. The neighborhoods could be Suburban Anywhere.

February 5th, 2013, 10:41 AM
Mr. Cuomo would offer owners the pre-storm full market value of their houses.
I don't know how I feel about that. That land isn't worth as much as it used to be for a reason, because now it's uninsureable. And those inflated prices pre-storm reflected a different reality. So now the public has to pay full freight for a handful of people's luxury?

February 5th, 2013, 12:03 PM
GG, they may be slightly inflated, but MUCH less than what they were in 2008.

I do not know if he should be offering 2X the property value on some of these guys (maybe make a maximum value for that to apply?). That buyout may just be enough to get some of the smaller owners in these areas enough money to relocate. (There are some "temporary" fishing homes on the jersey shore that housed people year round. Selling one at full market would not be enough to get these people a place to live. They would become burdens on the state/homeless if they were pushed out by executive order... so what would work better. Could they be given enough to relocate and cost us little, or would that still be insufficient?).

I think this is much more important than trying to call eminent domain for roadways and railways, but nobody has said anything about using it for relocation of residents in extreme risk areas......

February 24th, 2013, 03:45 PM
Well good news down the shore. Point Pleasant and Seaside have already begun rebuilding their boardwalks, and Seaside has a salvalge company removing that fallen coaster starting tomorrow. Both towns hope to have their boardwalks finished by mid-May.

March 2nd, 2013, 07:56 PM
^Also the Mantoloking Bridge and Rte 35 are now reopened. But in the meantime:

NJ Sequester impact: Sandy aid cut $2.9B

Sequester set to take effect today

Mar 1, 2013


Written by Malia Rulon Herman

WASHINGTON — As the nation inched closer to massive federal spending cuts set to take effect today, New Jersey lawmakers lamented that the cuts will eliminate about $2.9 billion in aid for victims of superstorm Sandy.
The money is part of $60.2 billion in storm aid that Congress approved, after several delays, on Jan. 28, three months after the Oct. 29 storm began pounding the Jersey Shore.
“We already had congressional delays, and now cuts are going to further truncate the ability, particularly in a seasonal context, of what we need,” Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said Thursday, his voice rising.
So far, about $1.8 billion of the Sandy aid has been spent helping New Jersey homeowners, small businesses and efforts to rebuild the Jersey Shore.

Once sequestration takes effect, aid not yet sent to storm-battered states will be reduced about 5 to 7 percent, according to the offices of New Jersey lawmakers.
Sequestration, which will slash $85 billion from the federal budget between Friday and the end of fiscal 2013 on Sept. 30, will cut $1 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund.
Another $1.9 billion will be cut from money set aside for transportation repairs, Army Corps of Engineers’ flood mitigation projects and Community Development Block Grants.
“They’ll be across the board,” Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., said. “This means that if a town was supposed to get $1 million to rebuild, they will get $930,000. This means that towns that are totally without a tax base and are having a tough time rebuilding are going to have an even tougher time.”

The National Flood Insurance Program won’t be affected by the sequestration cuts, but workers at FEMA, which runs the program, could be subject to furloughs.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and members of the state’s congressional delegation already have criticized FEMA’s backlog in processing flood insurance claims related to superstorm Sandy.
Having fewer people processing those claims “will make the matter worse, not better,” Andrews said.

Menendez said cuts to Community Development Block Grants will be especially painful because the state was counting on on that money to help small-business owners and homeowners who might not have insurance.
Cuts to the Army Corps also will hurt the state’s ability to safeguard the Shore against another storm, he said.
These programs are “what’s critical to achieve recovery,” he said.

The sequestration cuts were part of a 2011 deal to increase the nation’s debt limit. They are projected to total $1.2 trillion between now and the end of fiscal 2013 on Sept. 30. This year’s $85 billion in cuts is the first installment.
The cuts were designed to be so severe that Congress and the White House would feel compelled to avoid them by coming up with a less drastic deficit-reduction plan, but that hasn’t happened.
Both Menendez and U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., voted Thursday in favor of a Democratic bill that would have replaced the cuts with targeted spending reductions and revenue increases. That bill failed, as did a GOP measure that would have given President Barack Obama until March 15 to send Congress an alternative package of savings.
Rep. Frank J. Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said Congress should stay in Washington until the problem is fixed. House and Senate leaders were planning to meet with Obama at the White House today, but lawmakers from both the House and Senate left town Thursday.
“We shouldn’t be going home,” Pallone said. “We should stay here until the House and the Senate and the Democrats and Republicans can come together and agree on a package that replaces the sequester.”
Pallone said the cuts to Sandy aid will hurt his district, which includes several hard-hit Shore towns.
“Everyone is worried about this,” he said. “It just doesn’t make sense to make across-the-board cuts because you are eliminating the good along with the bad.”


March 2nd, 2013, 09:30 PM
So does that mean Jersey contractor crews are going to charge $19 per light bulb instead of $20?

March 5th, 2013, 01:28 PM

What i do not understand is how this automatic cut bill was able to slash something that was enacted AFTER the bill was passed. How can storm aid be considered a "program" that can be cut into to "balance the budget"?

I know it is money spent, but when you say $XX, you can't say, later, "Well, that $XX is going to lose $Y because of Z..."

March 5th, 2013, 02:10 PM
when you say $XX, you can't say, later, "Well, that $XX is going to lose $Y because of Z..."

Yes you can, these awards & grants are subject to all acts of congress. We're having this problem with the sequestration causing am 8% haircut in grants from the Treasury for the entire fiscal year ending 9/30/2013. The cuts may actually be deeper after that, or may be less depending on what legislation is passed.

March 5th, 2013, 04:52 PM
Unfortunately, that is the way all the budget cuts will be implemented. Remember, we are talking about paying for what has already been comitted to; paying the credit card bill so to speak. If you can't pay your mortgage, someone comes and takes your house.

March 5th, 2013, 05:06 PM
When you say $60M, it means $60M.

I know you"can" do whatever you want in Lawyer-Land, but things like this I have not seen since elementary school.

March 5th, 2013, 06:53 PM
So what you're trying to say is you read the two entire bills authorizing $60 billion with no conditions explicitly set forth nor subject to any other statutes

March 6th, 2013, 02:33 PM

I see it as "no take-backsies".

March 18th, 2013, 03:36 PM

More progress to get an influx of tourist dollars starting Memorial Day weekend, but it won't be finished by mid-April. Seaside/Lavalette as well as Belmar/Spring Lake are among two locations that host the walk for MS each April. On their website, the Seaside location is not listed, but the Belmar/Lake Como listing is. Belmar is about 90% boardwalk walk so I don't know how they'll do it. Seaside is obviously out of the question by 4/14, but at least it will be done by Memorial Day weekend.

March 19th, 2013, 01:17 PM
Knock on wood (boardwalk wood I hope).

April 11th, 2013, 02:40 PM

Life Preserver

New facilities landing on New York's Sandy-ravaged beaches.

Garrison Architects designed life guard stations, restrooms, and offices to be ready by Memorial Day.
Courtesy Garrison Architects

Surf’s up! But don’t worry, the city’s new beach facilities will be able to handle it.

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and Department of Design and Construction have teamed up to answer Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s mandate that the Hurricane Sandy–pummeled seaside in the Rockaways, Coney Island, and Staten Island be repaired and ready for sun worshipers by Memorial Day weekend. In part, this work involves rebuilding sections of the boardwalks and restoring WPA-era concession stands. It also involves the design, fabrication, and installation of 17 new buildings, which will replace destroyed lifeguard stations, restrooms, and offices.

The city hired Garrison Architects to design the new facilities. “In December we were asked by David Bernie at the DDC to submit some modular work to restore the beaches,” said James Garrison, founder of the Brooklyn-based practice. “We started before Christmas and the schedule required us to be done with design and construction documents by January 23. We completed fundamental design by January 27 working 16-hour days.”



In order to deliver the project on such a tight deadline, the design team opted for an industrialized building process. The 17 buildings, broken down into 35 modular units of shipping dimension—12 feet high, 15 feet wide, and of varying lengths up to 57 feet—are being prefabricated in the Chicago shop of the Deluxe Building Corp. Garrison provided Deluxe with 3D models that feed directly into the fabricator’s CNC plasma machines, which cut the profiles. “This whole idea that means and methods aren’t the realm of the architect breaks down when a building is completely designed and goes into the fabrication process from the architect’s documents,” said Garrison. “It changes the way we think about our relationship to construction.”

The structure of one of the pavilions currently under construction.
Courtesy New York City Department of Design and Construction

Once complete, the modules will be trucked to the site and placed atop pre-prepared concrete pier foundations. The units will be clustered, mostly in groups of two, connected to each other by bridges, and connected to beach and boardwalk by stairs and ramps. Atop the concrete piers, the facilities will be perched above the 500-year mark established by FEMA’s Hurricane Sandy Advisory Base Flood Elevation for New York and New Jersey—7 feet to 14 feet above grade and 4 feet to 8 feet above the boardwalk depending on location.

The buildings are oriented perpendicular to the boardwalk, sometimes positioned on the beach side, sometimes on the landside. Though they are programmed for different functions, the architectural expression, materials, and hardware are standardized to take advantage of the efficiencies of industrialized construction.

Corrugated 316 stainless steel cladding wraps each module lengthwise, top and bottom. “Because they’re on piles, they have an elevation on the underside,” said Garrison. The long sidewalls are clad with fiber reinforced concrete panels and louvers of black locust wood, which provide shade for continuous ventilating clerestories. While the majority of the spaces will be unconditioned, portions of the restrooms will be heated for those who use the beaches in winter, such as surfers. But with a double skin system wrapping the steel frame and plenty of cross ventilation, the facilities are expected to be comfortable during the hot months as well.

Aaron Seward

Copyright © 2003-2011 | The Architect's Newspaper, LLC

April 12th, 2013, 10:13 AM
I do not like the styling on them. They look like trailer park....trailers up on stilts.

The basic idea is good though. Raise them above the surf.

The thing that got most, however, was that they were stationed back on the beach, but right where the storm tide pushed the breakers. Oddly enough, some might have lasted longer if they were deeper IN the water. The other is that the piles they were resting on were compromised by erosion. That happened to the station just north of Sandy Hook in NJ.

Although rebuilding these stations is great, I would rather spend the time, and money, on getting people back in their houses (and helping them with the additional cost of making them more storm.... "compliant"). I would also rather see millions spent on breakwaters than on fancy new lifeguard/bathroom/changing stations.

April 17th, 2013, 11:28 PM
Sandy-devastated residential complex gets $250,000 flood-prevention gate

It's the strongest flood-prevention door available and uses nitrogen-fueled gaskets to make the basement of the complex of buildings at 2 Gold St. and 201 Pearl St. in lower Manhattan watertight. During Hurricane Sandy, three feet of water soaked 2 Gold’s lobby after overpowering a garage door on Pearl St., which damaged mechanical equipment, and destroyed vehicles and the lobby.

By Jason Sheftell (http://wirednewyork.com/authors?author=Jason Sheftell) / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013, 8:54 PM
Updated: Friday, April 12, 2013, 12:00 AM
Next time, the river won’t run through it.
The owners of the Sandy-devastated buildings at 2 Gold St. and 201 Pearl St. in lower Manhattan have taken unprecedented steps to safeguard their complex in an age of climate change and frequent hurricanes.
RELATED: BROOKLYN REAL ESTATE BOOM: HOME PRICES SO HOT BUYERS RETURNING TO MANHATTAN (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-real-estate-boom-home-prices-hot-buyers-returning-manhattan-article-1.1313588)
The centerpiece is a 13-foot-by-11-foot, $250,000 aluminum gate — the strongest flood-prevention door available — that uses nitrogen-fueled gaskets to make the basement watertight.
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1314513.1365732225!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/2-gold-st.jpgCorey Sipkin/New York Daily News

Resident Manager Derrick Komorowski (left) shows off the complex’s new $250,000 aluminum gate.

It’s the first of its kind installed in the Financial District by a residential landlord.

“We were surprised once, and we will not be surprised again,” said Sofia Estevez, executive vice president of TF Cornerstone, which owns the connected downtown rental buildings with more than 820 luxury units.
“Sandy took control of our lives ... and you have to do something about it.”
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1314452.1365732459!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/2-gold-st.jpgCorey Sipkin/New York Daily News

More than 3 feet of water made its way into the lobby of 2 Gold St. during Hurricane Sandy.

After the October storm, three feet of water soaked 2 Gold’s lobby after overpowering a garage door on Pearl St. The flooding damaged all mechanicals, destroying vehicles and the lobby.
TF Cornerstone released residents from their leases and 470 of the building’s 839 units emptied. But all systems have been upgraded, the lobby has been renovated and there’s an expanded fitness center. In all, TF Cornerstone spent $15 million to get the complex ready for tenants.

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1314517.1365732611!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/2-gold-st.jpgCorey Sipkin/New York Daily News

'We were surprised once, and we will not be surprised again,' said Sofia Estevez, executive vice president of TF Cornerstone, who owns the connected rental buildings.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think a storm could wipe out a New York City building,” said Estevez. “We had to salvage our reputation. That’s how we felt, devastated.”
The storm door — which its manufacturer Presray calls “the real deal” — should prevent that feeling from becoming a habit.

“These same doors saved lives at Texas Children’s Hospital in 2001 during Tropical Storm Alison,” said company president Jason Smith. “They had the only generator that worked. No water got through.”
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1314514.1365732770!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/2-gold-st.jpgCorey Sipkin/New York Daily News

2 Gold St. resident Denise Lynn said 'They made a terrible circumstance dealable.' She added, 'It is a little quiet now. I don’t ever have to wait for the elevator.'

TF Cornerstone started re-renting units on March 1 and quickly had 102 new leases signed. Some deals were inked with prior tenants.
“They made a terrible circumstance dealable,” said renter Denise Lynn, who has lived at 2 Gold for two years but spent the Sandy months at a family home in California. “It is a little quiet now. I don’t ever have to wait for the elevator.”
Not every former tenant is happy, of course. Some Sandy refugees have filed a class-action suit that claims TF Cornerstone didn’t do enough to prepare the building for the storm.
However that case is resolved, TF Cornerstone says it is focusing on preventing the next crisis. Other building owners are doing major work, too.
jsheftell@nydailynews.com (jsheftell@nydailynews.com)Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/sandy-devastated-building-flood-prevention-gate-article-1.1314458#ixzz2QmXVqlhh

April 30th, 2013, 07:45 PM
Superstorm Sandy: 6 months later

Originally published: April 29, 2013 5:58 AM
Updated: April 30, 2013 5:22 AM


May 14th, 2013, 03:54 PM
Don't know what the holdup was, but Weeks Marine is today starting to dismantle the fallen roller coaster, and I think they're also going to handle part of the pier it was sitting on. I know they had to do something called Hydro Topography to assess just how much debris was on the ocean floor. I hope they also get whatever ended up under the sand during the last six months' current shifts. Mayor Akers said they will keep one piece from the coaster to display somewhere as part of the town's history.

On a lighter note, Prince Harry visited our humble little resort today. Most important on his itinerary was to meet the first responders who worked during Sandy. Wonder if he and the governor got an ice cream cone after that or a pint of ale at one of the many boardwalk bars.

May 15th, 2013, 11:49 PM
Do you think there is any connection between the fact that work started on the day Prince Harry paid his visit?

May 16th, 2013, 04:02 PM
Doubt it. They definitely wanted that crap out by Memorial Day weekend so it would be safe for swimmers. May have been haggling over money, who knows, but I don't think it was timed for him.

May 17th, 2013, 04:29 PM
I would only put it to good weather and maybe a nudge for Harry's visit. Not a complete reliance of one on the other.

May 17th, 2013, 08:00 PM
NH how's your parents' house coming along? Are they required to lift it?

May 20th, 2013, 01:15 PM
Yep. A good 8'

And it is a regular circus to find the funds that are there to help besides insurance.

Add to it all the building code rigamarole (like standoff distances) that would be required if a full rebuild was performed.

But at least Harry was only a few blocks away!


May 22nd, 2013, 03:03 PM
^A resident from the either NJ shore or the Rockaways was interviewed a few weeks ago, and they said it was going to cost around 100K to lift it. I don't remember how big their home was, but it's safe to say that either way the cost is at least 75K, and that's why some homeowners have had to walk away because FEMA and regular insurance won't come close.

On a lighter note, here is info on which NJ beaches are open (most of them are) and which facilities are available.


May 27th, 2013, 06:19 PM
We got plans in just last week....

It is going to be a change, but I hope that my family can all help to make the change less costly, and bear what costs are needed.

May 28th, 2013, 12:16 PM
All the beachside communities in Jersey are going out of their way to promote with "we're open" campaigns, but I seriously doubt that's the case for all the storm damaged areas. I see that a lot of money has been pumped into places like Seaside Heights and their facilities are fully online, but I bet that most of the smaller areas are nowhere near what they used to be

May 28th, 2013, 02:42 PM
"All" is a misnomer.

The piers are still gone, and they were your markers when walking the boardwalk. You could see them and gauge how far you needed to walk, and see the ferris wheel and other rides lit up at night.

The boardwalk will be sorely lacking, whether you went on those rides or not, until they return.

Now I can only hope the packs of pubescent sunburned gangsta-wannabees and the dress-like-a-skank-I-am-not-a-skank skanks got washed away by the storm as well.

May 28th, 2013, 04:38 PM
The amusement piers won't be ready for another year, year and a half. Most of the towns are open, a handful with limited facilities, and one or two are completely closed (beaches and boardwalks). I'm amazed at what they've been able to do in seven short months, especially during winter. I'm happy with the progress so far but I know things aren't as easy for the homeowners.

GG-This is a link to a map which shows which beach towns are open and to what capacity.
http://newjersey.news12.com/news/201...alks-1.5306143 (http://newjersey.news12.com/news/2013-info-on-new-jersey-beaches-and-boardwalks-1.5306143)

Now I can only hope the packs of pubescent sunburned gangsta-wannabees and the dress-like-a-skank-I-am-not-a-skank skanks got washed away by the storm as well.

Watch it buddy, or I'll have Snooki come and sit on you.

May 29th, 2013, 07:55 PM
I ain't worried about her unless I summer in Staten eye-land.

June 19th, 2013, 02:52 AM
Building for an Uncertain Future

New York City Planning releases guidelines for post-Sandy coastal construction.

by Nicole Anderson

Hurricane Sandy damage in Queens, New York. Courtesy NYC DCP

Since Hurricane Sandy (http://blog.archpaper.com/wordpress/archives/tag/hurricane-sandy) swept through New York more than six months ago—exposing the city’s increasing vulnerability to climate change—City Hall has been tackling the urgent, and ever present, issues around resiliency and rebuilding (http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=6542). Tonight, City Planning Commission Chair Amanda M. Burden will introduce the Department of City Planning’s (DCP) new report, “Designing for Flood Risk,” at the Center for Architecture (http://cfa.aiany.org/index.php?section=calendar&evtid=5944). While it is being announced on the heels of Mayor Bloomberg’s in-depth plan, “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” the DCP report helped to inform some of the mayor’s recommendations and provides architects and urban planners with a detailed guide to building resilient and well-designed urban communities that still adhere to new flood protection standards.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/sandy_dcp_report_03.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/sandy_dcp_report_03.jpg)
Streetscape diagrams showing an enclosed front porch (left), landscaping (center), and a turned stair (right).

“Descending on the city during the course of these studies, Hurricane Sandy served as a stark reminder that climate risks are not just a concern of the future,” said Burden in a statement. “Our design guidelines for buildings in the flood zone, along with our proposed zoning changes in public review, provide a roadmap for flood zone construction that supports the vitality and character of neighborhoods.”

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/sandy_dcp_report_04.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/sandy_dcp_report_04.jpg)
Diagram of NYC's building code requirements. Click to enlarge.

The flooding from Sandy caused severe damage to thousands of buildings sitting along and near the city’s 520 miles of waterfront. According to Bloomberg’s plan, the storm surge reached up to 14 feet above ground level in the Tottenville area of Staten Island. In response to the unexpected and colossal impact of Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) revised its flood maps to include twice as many residents within the 100-year flood plain. Home and business owners in flood zones will be required to elevate the first occupiable floor above FEMA’s new base flood elevation, and add one or two feet of “freeboard”—additional height, just to make sure. As New Yorkers go through the process of rebuilding, architects and urban planners must negotiate between FEMA’s new regulations and the qualities that shape and enhance the urban landscape, which may at times prove contradictory.

While new to the public, the DCP’s report has been in the works for over a year. Prior to the storm in March 2012, the DCP organized a charrette with members of the Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York Chapter to brainstorm a variety of design strategies to comply with flood regulations while not forsaking the features that contribute to the feel of a neighborhood. Sandy created a new sense of urgency. In February, the Post Sandy Task Force organized a second workshop with the AIA New York chapter. The workshop assembled a group of urban planners, architects, landscape architects, and representatives from several government agencies to delve into some the challenges that the flood protection standards pose to the design quality of the public realm.

http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/sandy_dcp_report_01.jpg (http://www.archpaper.com/uploads/sandy_dcp_report_01.jpg)
Hurricane Sandy damage in Staten Island.

“Sandy was a new context to our work. It will continue to inform our work going forward,” said Thaddeus Pawlowski, an urban designer at DCP. “I think a lot of the ideas and thinking began before Sandy and we were in the process of formulating them, but now Sandy formalized them.”

A significant portion of the report is dedicated to setting up an understanding of effective design principles that mold and improve New York City’s neighborhoods—from visual connectivity and active street frontage to facade articulation and inviting access—in light of the new flood regulations. The second half of the report consists of policy-driven recommendations. The DCP provides specific amendments to zoning aimed at facilitating good design practices that comply with flood protection standards, such as allowing for additional space for mechanical equipment on rooftops and yards or permitting building owners to implement landscape and architectural components—such as plantings, porches, or decks—to their homes and property.

“I think the report is essential to cities all over the world that are rapidly urbanizing in coastal areas,” said Pawlowski. “How do we make a vibrant urban environment that can withstand climate changes?”


June 19th, 2013, 09:52 AM
All the beachside communities in Jersey are going out of their way to promote with "we're open" campaigns, but I seriously doubt that's the case for all the storm damaged areas. I see that a lot of money has been pumped into places like Seaside Heights and their facilities are fully online, but I bet that most of the smaller areas are nowhere near what they used to be

I've been down to our place on LBI a few times this summer and am very impressed with the progress. We're on the north side of the island and so incurred much less of the wrath of Sandy in the first place but even areas like Harvey Cedars and Surf City that were completely washed over have recovered to the point where an unknowing visitor would have no idea anything ever happened.

The ocean side of the boulevard properties have clearly undergone much work over the winter with entire streets and rows of house repaired and fresh looking. The dunes were all demolished and the lack of Dune Grass is obvious but the beaches look good (though slightly physically altered) and are fully open. All the marinas are open and boat activity has been fairly normal from what I've seen.

Obviously Holgate and areas to the south were hit much harder but Fantasy Island and all the main restaurants (The Shell, The Boat House etc) in Beach Haven are open for the season.

It's commendable the effort that has gone into getting the island back to normal in only 6 months.

June 19th, 2013, 09:54 AM
I ain't worried about her unless I summer in Staten eye-land.
Dn't knock Staten Island. I lived there for 10 years and can tell you it has a lot more to offer than people give it credit for. The old north shore homes are especially nice - nearby parks and recreational areas, historic homes and museums and proximity to the shore going south and Manhattan and Brooklyn

It needs a major infrastructure upgrade - the roads are crumbling and it lacks an extensive rail line, but the bus service is actually pretty solid.

I wouldn't go back, but I am not sorry I was there either.

June 27th, 2013, 03:50 PM

Superstorm Sandy victim's body lay undetected for months

CBS/AP/ June 27, 2013, 8:56 AM
A dilapidated trailer sits up on blocks in a trash-strewn lot in Queens, New York, Tuesday, June 15, 2013. Thought to be vacant, the trailer went unsearched after Superstorm Sandy flooded the area in late 2012. In April the partially-skeletonized remains of Keith Lancaster, 62, were found inside. / AP Photo/Jake Pearson

NEW YORK In the chaotic days after Superstorm Sandy, an army of aid workers streamed onto the flood-ravaged Rockaway Peninsula looking for anyone who needed help.

But nobody thought to peek inside the tiny construction trailer where Keith Lancaster was sleeping the night of the storm.
It took until April 5 before an acquaintance finally went to check on the 62-year-old and found his partially-skeletal remains.

New York City's medical examiner announced this week that Lancaster had likely drowned in the flood.
The New York Daily News reported (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/queens-man-found-dead-months-sandy-drowned-home-article-1.1381711) that Lancaster's home showed signs of a five-foot-high watermark.
Neighborhood residents described him as a loner and something of a drifter — but a gentleman in his manners.
One family says he weeded their lawn and mended their fence, but politely declined all offers of money or food.
Police are continuing to try to identify any relatives.
Lancaster was among the 44 lives claimed by Sandy in New York City.


July 1st, 2013, 08:59 AM

July 1st, 2013, 05:58 PM
Poor guy -

July 2nd, 2013, 08:54 AM
Neighbors discovered the body of Keith Lancaster, 62, more than 150 days after the deadly storm...

TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2013, 8:51 AM
Hmmmmm..... Lets see, the hurricane was at the end of October.... Each month is about 30 days, so 150/30 = 5 (+/-)


So they found him the end of March and the story is coming out now at the end of June?


July 2nd, 2013, 09:51 AM
Slow news day?

July 2nd, 2013, 03:00 PM
Maybe they had that in the "backup news story" folder and figured they would use it.

August 14th, 2013, 08:17 PM
Bouncing back in Seaside. Sunday the 11th. Surprisingly, the houses on the side streets, as well as on the strip further down are almost all intact, or rebuilt. I only saw one or two still damaged.

Looking south toward the old pier with the Ferris Wheel and Flume, among others. That pier was totally devastated and is still completely closed. Not so for the north pier with the fallen coaster.

The north pier. The white thing is a construction crane, but the rest are all rides. The destroyed part is fenced off.

The red white & blue ride upside down up in the air is called the 'Superstorm'. :cool:

The other side of the north pier. The coaster is completely removed from the water. It looks like on the right in the foreground is new construction. Also, they saved a piece of the coaster to put on display in the future. Next pic.

Coaster remnants. I sure hope they combed the ocean floor with a fine-tooth comb.

Skyride still down.

Swing ride among what used to be the south pier.

No fun this year.

Rest of the south pier leading nowhere.

September 12th, 2013, 08:38 PM
Somewhat related to Sandy. You have to be incredibly resilient to own a shore business, in which your success year after year is largely dictated by the weather. But I don't know how much more these people can take. Some of those businesses either weren't hit bad, or even at all by the storm, and now they're all gone. A few years ago I took my mother for a ride down there, and she showed me the merry-go-round she used to ride as a little girl. Survived decades of hurricanes, Sandy, and now in a flash, gone.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/09/seaside_boardwalk_fire_list_of_businesses_impacted .html#incart_maj-story-1

September 13th, 2013, 10:33 AM
The classic MGR is gone?

September 13th, 2013, 01:07 PM
Yes, the one on the south end in the arcade. A couple inches down from the top of this pic, slightly left of center, where that flimsy square structure is, was the arcade where the mgr was. That clean rectangle of sand just before it was The Beach Bar, which wasn't rebuilt yet. The Beach Comber used to be there but moved across the boardwalk sometime in the early 2000s (that was destroyed too). There is another mgr toward the north end but that wasn't touched. The entire quarter of the active part of the boardwalk is gone.


September 13th, 2013, 01:13 PM
More pics here:


Thank goodness they had the foresight to make a "trench" in the boardwalk where the stores are broken up by a side street. The way that wind was blowing could have taken the entire boardwalk with it.

September 13th, 2013, 02:44 PM
As was pointed out by a co-worker, this area was prime for that. What was the fire rating on these buildings? They all look to be simple timber frame structures... Kindling... :(

It is a shame that that merry-go-round was lost, it can't be rebuilt, but the rest of those structures are proof in and of themselves that they are not "temporary" and cannot be abbutted to each other as simple wood frame structures with no fire barriers...

September 13th, 2013, 07:32 PM
All boardwalks are, and the businesses that line them always will be as long as they continue to use those tar roofs. They share common walls, but in the future they should be fireproof. The roofs are another matter. As far as density, boardwalk business owners want to be where the most foot traffic is and in this case, it happens to be down that end. Don't forget, past that arcade there are actually two boardwalks that run parallel to each other with businesses on both sides. Double the fuel. On News 12 they reported that plans are already being made to rebuild, but I haven't heard details so I'll wait & see. Look up NJ Boardwalk Fire on Youtube and see how many come up. Decades worth all up and down the coast.

I goofed on the location of the arcade and mgr. On the left is the remains of the mgr.


September 14th, 2013, 12:22 AM
The Case Against Rebuilding the Coastline After Superstorm Sandy

by Klaus Jacob

One year after Sandy, many of the affected communities remain vulnerable to another storm because of indecision about how best to respond. There are three basic options to mitigate risks from sea level rise and storm surge: Protect against the rising tides with engineered structures, accommodate the rising waters and make structures as resilient as possible, or retreat from risky low shorelines to higher ground. Our challenge is to tailor these options to particular locations, and to balance this with cost-effectiveness and sustainability over the long run. Retreat needs to be considered not as a defeatist last-resort, but as proactive strategy needed in some places.

Take New York City, for example, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed 257 initiatives to be pursued over the next 10 years at an estimated $20 billion. He has repeatedly emphasized that the city "will not retreat from the waterfront." But it will be hard to stand by this categorical commitment as sea levels continue to rise.

If we needed Sandy to advance us into a better future, we should celebrate Sandy’s first anniversary, and then get to work.

Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a $400 million home-buyout program, of which a meager $170 million has been HUD-approved. Only homes with damage more than 50 percent of their value are eligible. The Oak Beach community in Staten Island has applied as a pilot program for a community-based buyout, but hasn't yet been approved. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is encouraging rapid rebuilding while also proposing a limited buyout program. But with no funding set aside for it, he has made clear he prefers to rebuild rather than retreat.

For individual homeowners, the options are bleak. The cost to accommodate, to raise a structure—if that’s even technically possible—normally far exceeds insurance claims. But to not raise it or otherwise adapt means increasing insurance premiums by factors of five or more, making flood insurance simply unaffordable for many (though it is mandatory for mortgage holders). Selling is not a viable option either, since many home prices have plummeted below half the original cost. Owners can become trapped with foreclosure as the only option—which is why governments need to take a leading role in developing other, more feasible, options.

These options should include support for buyouts in mid-Atlantic communities, at least for coastal and estuary locations that are either at elevations of ten feet or less above the local mean higher high tide or 5 feet above the latest mapped FEMA 1 percent per year base flood elevations, whichever is higher. Once buyouts at these elevations are secured, they should progress to higher elevations.

Workers rebuild a boardwalk destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in Bay Head, New Jersey. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Disallow new residential development in those low-lying elevations unless it is flood-adapted (safely moored and floatable or substantially raised with raised or floodable utility connections). With urgency, local building codes need to be re-written to take this into account, since those specifications don’t yet exist.

Know that flood-protective structures—sea gates, levees, or walls—have limits. To start, sea levels will inevitably surpass their finite design heights. But before that ever happens, they introduce their own collateral hazards. A barrier system meant to protect an estuary or river with considerable discharge could flood communities behind the protective systems.

Develop a set of land-use priorities. Infrastructure, including transportation networks, sewage treatment plants, solid waste facilities, energy supply and distribution systems, utilities, and public health facilities demand the highest priorities for adaptation, whether by protection, accommodation (some utility distribution systems could be made submergible; other system elements could be raised or made floatable); or by retreat to higher ground. In any case, for this essential infrastructure, higher flood standards need to be considered (such as the 0.2%/year flood elevations), and margins for sea level rise must be added that are in a time horizon commensurate with the expected lifetime of the facility itself. New rights of way will need to be relocated from low-lying areas to higher elevations.

These measures should be seen as an opportunity. The benefits of rebuilding more resiliently and at safer grounds can catalyze the modernization of what, for many municipalities, has become antiquated infrastructure. Subways, other mass transit systems, and road tunnels should be reconsidered before they become victims to ever more frequent saltwater flooding. Rail systems along the East Coast are a century old in their basic designs, and are located at ever more flood prone elevations and locations. Facing up to the demands imposed by climate change provides us with an opportunity to see a long overdue high-speed train network connecting storm-resilient cities.

Likewise, our energy-wasting land-use patterns should be consolidated and transformed from a suburban to a denser urbanized mode with reduced home-to-work travel time facilitated by mass transit, which not only makes us more resilient, but it just makes better sense. If we needed Sandy to advance us into a better future, we should celebrate Sandy’s first anniversary with optimism, and then get to work.

September 14th, 2013, 08:25 PM
All three are viable options, depending on the area and how it fits on the new FEMA flood map. There doesn't have to be either/or for the entire region, although accommodating the water is the most important option.

Chances are there won't be another storm such as this in our lifetimes, but there will be other storms with water doing the same thing it has done for decades and centuries: Going where it wants to go. So, why not provide it the means to go where it wants to go the most? The ocean met the bay again with Sandy, and it probably met at the same spots it always has. Retreat from those specific spots, even if it means tens of millions moving a bridge to another spot or modifying a roadway so it will be safer, accommodate the water which will come in anyway with a manmade inlet, or passthrough, to provide relief, and reinforce or protect any buildings that are beyond the retreat line, but are still in a "yellow" zone, set to FEMA's standards.

Nobody who has lived or owned a business in those areas for years or decades wants to move. But where do they think the money will come from the next time? Will there even be money next time? Scarier still, will they even have permission to build on their own land next time?

September 16th, 2013, 11:54 AM
Well, the money is supposed to come from the revenues of taxes on properties and businesses in the area. It DOES bring in a lot of money (although it is not a full cash cow).

Problem is, we seem to forget where a lot of this money comes from, never save it, and spend it as soon as we think we are going to get it....

That just does not work.

September 16th, 2013, 03:52 PM
Problem is, we seem to forget where a lot of this money comes from, never save it, and spend it as soon as we think we are going to get it....

Very true, and it works like that all over the world, from presidents down to paupers.

September 17th, 2013, 05:07 PM
Fire was accidental. Good.

http://www.nj.com/ocean/index.ssf/2013/09/seaside_boardwalk_fire_cause_investigation.html#in cart_maj-story-2

September 18th, 2013, 10:59 AM
Electrical wiring (outdated, not up to snuff) that was damaged by Sandy shorting out.

I wonder how long, and what limitations, the Insurance companies will be putting on this one....

September 18th, 2013, 03:11 PM
That's a good question. I can't believe after Sandy, while they were bringing in truckloads of lumber and steel, nobody said "Hey, maybe we should replace the electrical, too." Even if they were protected by those conduits, saltwater was going to get in no matter what. Here is an up close and personal view from News 12:


September 18th, 2013, 09:11 PM
Sometimes you miss somethings.

That may have been something like a bathroom fan...

September 23rd, 2013, 10:38 PM
National Grid denies liability for fires that destroyed more than 100 homes during Superstorm Sandy

In response to $80 million lawsuit, the utility says Breezy Point residents — and God — were to blame.

By Daniel Beekman (http://wirednewyork.com/authors?author=Daniel Beekman) / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Monday, September 23, 2013, 8:21 PM

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1465368.1379980858!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/sandy.jpgDavid Handschuh/New York Daily News

National Grid is blaming Breezy Point and Rockaway Beach residents — and God — for the fires that destroyed their homes during Hurricane Sandy.

National Grid is blaming Breezy Point and Rockaway Beach residents — and God — for the fires that destroyed their homes during Hurricane Sandy.
In response to an $80 million Queens lawsuit in July by 120 homeowners against it and the Long Island Power Authority, National Grid said Monday it bears no responsibility.
“If the plaintiffs suffered … such injuries were caused by their own negligence, wholly or partially,” it contends.
RELATED: FIRST NEW BREEZY POINT HOMES RISING AFTER SUPERSTORM SANDY (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/new-breezy-point-homes-rising-superstorm-sandy-article-1.1435465)

“Such injuries arose as a result of certain risks, dangers and hazards that had been obvious, known to and assumed by the plaintiffs.”

Anthony DelMundo/for New York Daily News

In response to $80 million Queens lawsuit filed in July by 120 homeowners against it and the Long Island Power Authority, National Grid says fires in Breezy Point were caused "by (homeowners') own negligence, wholly or partially."
National Grid also argues that it should be immune from liability because it is a public authority. Finally, the utility deflects all complaints skyward.
“The occurrence alleged … arose out of an act of God,” it argues.

RELATED: MARCY HOUSES RESIDENTS WITHOUT GAS NEARLY 3 WEEKS (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/marcy-houses-residents-gas-3-weeks-article-1.1436188)

The homeowners claim National Grid and LIPA failed to shut down power ahead of the storm. The blazes started when seawater hit electrical systems.
Keith Sullivan, lawyer for the plaintiffs, blasted the filing.
“My clients have suffered enough and they are still displaced,” he said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/national-grid-don-blame-breezy-pt-article-1.1465370#ixzz2fm0GqjfO

September 24th, 2013, 10:34 AM
I don't know if I can agree with the residents on this.

I know they suffered, but was it the power grid that was at fault for the fire and the damage? Crying over the damage and displacement has little to do with who is at fault. That should only be brought up when the monetary amounts are decided.

WAS it the power authorities fault? Did they follow procedure? Are they responsible for the fire or is this something that is also on the backs of the insurance companies that seem to be reticent about paying.

Or is this a suit that was filed by those that did not have insurance, for one reason or another?

I just do not like the language being used by either side on this.

September 25th, 2013, 02:04 AM
Hundreds of Storm Evacuees in Hotels Face Evictions


Almost a year after Hurricane Sandy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/h/hurricanes_and_tropical_storms/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier), hundreds of displaced New Yorkers living in hotels face eviction.

Many of them have or are applying for federal rental subsidies, but finding affordable apartments has proved daunting. A few of those still in hotels are homeowners whose houses have not yet been repaired.

But saying there is no longer money for hotel stays, lawyers for the city went to court on Tuesday trying to evict the approximately 350 remaining evacuees by Oct. 1 and steer them into homeless shelters. The lawyers said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/f/federal_emergency_management_agency/index.html?inline=nyt-org) would end reimbursements to the city for the hotel program on Monday and that the city did not have the money to put up the last evacuees while they look for housing.

The hotels in the city program have cost the federal government more than $73 million so far.

The prospect of moving to a shelter is unthinkable to evacuees like Nicole Neal, 39, a guest at a Holiday Inn in Brooklyn who said she and her teenage son had been homeless for two and a half years before moving to an apartment in Far Rockaway, Queens, that was left uninhabitable by the storm.

“I’m not going to no more shelters — I’ve been there and done that,” she said, breaking down in sobs during an interview. “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t want to think about it.”

That hundreds of evacuees remain without permanent housing underscores the slow pace of recovery for many low-income New Yorkers after the storm, from homeowners coping with a lack of flood insurance or inadequate insurance, to renters who were not able to return to their homes and have not been able to find suitable housing.

Some housing experts say the long hotel stays point to the need for better federal and local disaster planning so that rental aid is available more quickly and cheaper temporary apartment rentals are an alternative to hotels.

A more effective system for connecting people in crisis to housing is also needed, said Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions, a nonprofit organization working to end homelessness in New York.

“It begs the question of how information and that entire process could be improved,” she said.

The city tried to end the hotel program in May after most of the more than 3,000 people in hotels had returned to repaired homes, secured public housing or found other permanent accommodations. City officials attributed the decision to budgetary concerns as well as the declining number of evacuees. The hotel program, officials said at the time, helped avoid the “severe strain” on the city’s shelter system from a sudden influx of evacuees.

By now, city lawyers argued in court documents, “it makes no sense for the city to continue to house evacuees in hotels when they can be housed within the city shelter system for a fraction of the cost and can continue to receive the same support, services and access to programs they are provided while in the hotel program.”

But lawyers with the Legal Aid Society sued to prevent the hotel evictions and Justice Margaret A. Chan of State Supreme Court in Manhattan sided with them. In her decision last May, Justice Chan said it did not seem reasonable to end the hotel accommodations just as New York was getting the first $2 billion in federal storm recovery aid, including money for rental subsidies.

That rental aid was not available until the summer, though, and most of the evacuees in hotels are still applying for rental vouchers, city officials said.

And even with a rental voucher for a one-bedroom apartment in the $1,300 range in hand, Ms. Neal said that she had found apartments scarce and landlords unwilling to rent to her because they did not want to wait for aid disbursements for background checks, deposits and other typical charges.

“I told them I was a Sandy victim,” she said. “They say they’re sorry to hear, but they want their money up front.”

At the hearing on Tuesday, one of the city’s lawyers, Andrew Rauchberg, pressed for ending the hotel program because “we can’t know when households will leave.”

The city estimated that each of about 165 households that were scattered in 29 hotels last week cost about $16,300 a month in hotel room charges and city social services.

FEMA had its own hotel programs in the New York region; they ended April 30 in New Jersey and Sept. 16 in New York State. They cost $103 million in addition to $73 million for the city program.

As they await the next court decision, advocates for storm victims say that the evacuees have been through enough.

“It is not like they’re saying ‘We’ll just transfer these people to the shelter system, here’s a room for you,’“ said Judith Goldiner, a lawyer at the Legal Aid Society. “What they’re saying is you can go apply,” she said. “These families have been traumatized,” she said. “What they went through during the storm really impacted their ability to function.”

Hundreds of thousands of people affected by Hurricane Sandy came from households with incomes of less than $30,000 a year, applications for government aid showed, and they were left with no home to return to and not enough income to qualify for available apartments.

Some lived in informal arrangements without leases and had difficulties proving their pre-storm addresses. City officials said a small number of people were uncooperative or hard to place because of criminal records and other problems that made them ineligible for whatever housing was available. Some are homeowners unable to move back home.

When FEMA’s program in New York State ended last week, one aid recipient, Thomas Reddington, 65, had struck out trying to line up a temporary apartment to be paid for with federal aid. He decided to move into his 2002 VW station wagon with his wife and their dog and to stay close to his neighborhood in Queens.

A United States Navy veteran, Mr. Reddington said he was not aware that his homeowner’s insurance (http://topics.nytimes.com/your-money/insurance/home-insurance/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) had been canceled while he served as a helmsman in the Persian Gulf; he returned a month before Hurricane Sandy. He is now seeking city help repairing the roof of his two-story house in Far Rockaway, Queens, and replacing lost windows and appliances.

His plan, he said, is to head south to rent an apartment in a cheaper state and wait out the winter if his house is still not habitable. The couple will stick it out in their car at least until November, he said.

“The weather is good,” he said, “so it’s all right.”


October 25th, 2013, 04:17 PM
Rockaway residents to form human chain along the beach

Hurricane Sandy victims hope to set Guinness World Record and show how far the peninsula has come at the one-year anniversary of the storm

By Clare Trapasso (http://wirednewyork.com/authors?author=Clare Trapasso) / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, October 24, 2013, 6:07 PM


Irving DeJohn/New York Daily News

Just a small amount of the people participating in Sunday’s attempt to set a Guinness World Record by holding hands along the beach.

Hundreds of Hurricane Sandy victims are trying to turn tragedy into a Guinness World Record.
About 2,000 Rockaway residents are expected to join hands along the peninsula’s beach on Sunday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the storm.
They are hoping the show of solidarity will also earn them a place in the records book.
“I just had to do something to bring the community together,” said Lily Corcoran, 56, of Belle Harbor, who organized Rockaway Rising. “We felt like we lost each other.”
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1495875.1382652085!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/guinness25q-4-web.jpgIrving DeJohn/New York Daily News

About 2,000 people are expected to participate in Rockaway Rising, where they will form a human chain along the beach of the peninsula. The group will attempt to earn a Guinness World Record to commemorate the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

She’s doubtful her group will break the current record for the longest human chain. About 5 million people in Bangladesh earned that title 2004.
But she hopes to create a new one.
“No one has ever held hands and said prayers of different denominations on a shoreline,” Corcoran said.

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1495876.1382652088!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/guinness25q-3-web.jpgIrving DeJohn/New York Daily News

About 2,000 people are expected to participate in Rockaway Rising, where they will form a human chain along the beach of the peninsula. The group will attempt to earn a Guinness World Record to commemorate the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

Guinness receives about 1,000 claims a week from individuals and groups trying to break records or set new ones, said spokeswoman Jamie Papas.

“It’s fairly common for new record categories to be established,” she said. “People want to make their mark on history and be the very best at something.”
Aspiring record holders can purchase Rockaway t-shirts, sweatshirts and biodegradable lanterns. The lanterns will be released into the ocean in memory of those killed in the storm.
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1495877.1382652089!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/guinness25q-2-web.jpgIrving DeJohn/New York Daily News

About 2,000 people are expected to participate in Rockaway Rising, where they will form a human chain along the beach of the peninsula. The group will attempt to earn a Guinness World Record to commemorate the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

Proceeds from the sales will go to needy families.
“We want to draw attention to what happened to Rockaway and how we bounced back,” said John Larkin, 48, of Rockaway Park, who plans to link hands with his neighbors.

“There’s still a lot of people out here that don’t have any homes and yet we continue to make progress and rebuild,” he said.
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1495878.1382652090!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/guinness25q-1-web.jpgIrving DeJohn/New York Daily News

About 2,000 people are expected to participate in Rockaway Rising, where they will form a human chain along the beach of the peninsula. The group will attempt to earn a Guinness World Record to commemorate the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

Festivities like this are also a chance to turn the devastation of the storm into something positive, said Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Beach.)
“Rockaway Rising is another great opportunity for our families to come together in a strong sign of unity,” he said.
Corcoran said this will be a healing event for storm-scarred residents.
"I haven't been able to put my feet near the ocean since it happened, because I'm terrified," she said. "This is a helping mechanism to overcome that fear of that water."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/rockaway-residents-hope-earn-guinness-record-article-1.1495879#ixzz2ilb1mZbr

October 27th, 2013, 08:49 AM
One year later: Stories from all over. Also with an interactive timeline of events.


October 27th, 2013, 12:32 PM
Interactive (click & drag the arrows) Then/Now pics of LI, NYC, & NJ.


November 3rd, 2013, 01:36 AM
Coney Island's Residents, Forgotten, Struggle to Recover

October 30, 2013

[Coney Island's neighborhoods, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, remain unprepared to cope with future storms. All photos by Nathan Kensinger (http://kensinger.blogspot.com/).]

In the year since Hurricane Sandy, the recovery efforts in Staten Island (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/10/29/abandoned_buildings_red_tape_mark_a_year_on_staten _island.php) and the Rockaways (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/10/28/tracing_a_poststorm_year_of_change_in_the_rockaway s.php) have received much attention, but relatively little has been reported about Coney Island.

Completely submerged by the Atlantic Ocean during the storm, several of its hidden neighborhoods are still suffering from devastating after-effects, and residents feel they have been forgotten (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57609702/coney-island-residents-still-feel-forgotten-one-year-after-superstorm-sandy/). In the private community of Sea Gate, ruined mansions face the ocean and sea walls remain breached, while in Brighton Beach, humble bungalows obscured by narrow walking paths have been abandoned and left to rot, hastening an already precipitous decline (http://kensinger.blogspot.com/2010/03/brighton-beach-bungalows.html).

"Over here, no one says anything—like it never happened."—Judd Fischler, Brighton Beach neighborhood association.

It is clear that Coney Island is not prepared for another storm. Unlike the Rockaways, it has not built new baffle walls or sand berms. And unlike Staten Island, its residents are not planning on a state buyout to return their homes to nature. "Over here, no one says anything—like it never happened," said Judd Fischler, who serves on the board of the Brighton Beach neighborhood association. "Down these lanes, these people got very hard hit. It hasn't been fully looked in to, what happened here," he said. "It's like we're abandoned over here." The boardwalk, roller coasters and hot dogs have returned (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/05/23/coney_islands_boardwalks_and_beaches_prep_for_memo rial_day.php) for tourists, but life is far from normal for the residents of Coney Island.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/02_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4662-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/02_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4662.jpg)
November 2012: In Sea Gate, a private community at the western end of Coney Island, the damage from Hurricane Sandy was intense.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/03_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4578-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/03_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4578.jpg)
November 2012: Residents were inundated by a storm surge that destroyed parks, homes and sea walls.
"Everybody's house was damaged," one resident told the Jewish Daily Forward (http://forward.com/articles/186361/coney-islands-sea-gate-still-defenseless-after-san/). "I don't think anybody was spared in Sea Gate."

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/04_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4695-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/04_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4695.jpg)
November 2012: All of the homes facing the ocean were damaged by the storm, and "it took the city sanitation
department a month to clear the streets," according to the Forward. Electricity came back only after several weeks.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/05_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4182-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/05_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4182.jpg)
May 2013: Seven months later, homes were still being demolished by the city.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/06__kensinger_coney_island_DSC_1805-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/06__kensinger_coney_island_DSC_1805.jpg)
October 2013: One year later, a pile of rubble remained at this demolition site.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/07_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4785-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/07_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4785.jpg)
November 2012: A rough-hewn wooden sea wall was not enough to keep the ocean away. Years
before the storm, Sea Gate had declined to allow the government to build more substantial barriers.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/08__kensinger_coney_island_DSC_1922-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/08__kensinger_coney_island_DSC_1922.jpg)
October 2013: Sea Gate's private sea walls have yet to be repaired, although some residents have
moved back in to waterfront homes.

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October 2013: Neighbors have erected metal barriers to keep the ocean out, but this house is unprotected,
while being offered for sale.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/10_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_2043-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/10_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_2043.jpg)
October 2013: An empty home remains open to the elements, waiting to be repaired.
"The water is like a cancer," said one homeowner. "It was so bad. So bad."

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/11_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4207-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/11_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_4207.jpg)
May 2013: This ruined home sat empty on the Coney Island waterfront for over six months after the storm.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/12_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_2048-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/12_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_2048.jpg)
October 2013: It was eventually cleaned up, and now remains an empty lot, waiting for new construction.
Coney Island residents are "angry that it took so long for aid to reach them," as they told CBS News (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57609702/coney-island-residents-still-feel-forgotten-one-year-after-superstorm-sandy/).
"There is still so much that needs to be done."

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October 2013: In Brighton Beach, many homes were inundated during the storm. "The water came rushing in,"
said Judd Fischler, who has lived in the area for 25 years. "Everybody was affected, one way or the other."

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/14_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_2159-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/14_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_2159.jpg)
October 2013: Some storm-damaged bungalows in the area are now for sale, while others have been
boarded up and left to raccoons and squatters, a common problem in the neighborhood.

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October 2013: The owners of this home decided not to rebuild after the storm. "The people just closed
up and left," said Fischler, who lives across the street.

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October 2013: A handwritten sign announces that the building is for sale, although no work has been
done since the house was flooded.

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/17_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_2268-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/17_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_2268.jpg)
October 2013: This vacant house recently caught fire and burned. "The electric was never shut off,
so there were squatters in there," said Fischler. "They must have been there for quite a while, at least a month."

http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/18_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_2304-thumb.jpg (http://ny.curbed.com/uploads/18_kensinger_coney_island_DSC_2304.jpg)
October 2013: The future of these bungalows, like that of homes throughout Coney Island, is uncertain.
"They're saying the neighborhood's going down," said Fischler, but "we are in no hurry to leave."

—Nathan Kensinger

Nathan Kensinger (http://kensinger.blogspot.com/) [official]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2013/10/30/coney_islands_residents_forgotten_struggle_to_reco ver.php

November 6th, 2013, 07:37 PM
Sandy sucked, yes, but the federal response is no different than any other. My pathetic little hometown in the middle of nowhere Almost Canada still has people living in FEMA trailers over 2 years later.

Everything is garbage.

November 19th, 2013, 04:56 PM
Sandy-hit neighborhood to be bought back by state

Governor Cuomo announced that the state would be buying back the properties of Ocean Breeze, Staten Island that were destroyed during Sandy for pre-storm market value.

By Jennifer Fermino (http://wirednewyork.com/authors?author=Jennifer Fermino) / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Monday, November 18, 2013, 9:50 PM


John Moore/AP

“We wanted the buyout, but it was a very difficult decision to make,” said Marlena DeBiaso, 69. “We were so close to everyone in the neighborhood.”

Hurricane Sandy has claimed another victim — the Staten Island community of Ocean Breeze.
Gov. Cuomo (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Andrew+Cuomo) on Monday announced the state would begin buying back properties in that Sandy-ravaged section of the borough, the first step in returning the low-lying coast area to nature.

Homeowners — most of whom lost everything — will get prestorm market value for their properties.
The buyback program is voluntary, but officials expect all 129 homeowners to participate, since the heavily damaged area has been uninhabited since the storm.

But that didn’t make the gut-wrenching reality of walking away any easier.
“We wanted the buyout, but it was a very difficult decision to make,” said Marlena DeBiaso, 69. “We were so close to everyone in the neighborhood.”

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/sandy-hit-area-bought-state-article-1.1521367#ixzz2l89hKEkw

November 30th, 2013, 04:30 PM
If they're going to rebuild the dunes they can use poison ivy, since it has a more intense root system than dune grass, plus it sure as hell will keep people off the dunes.

Cuomo announces $50M project to protect Sandy-battered Queens coast from storms

The project, which is being funded by federal recovery funds, would develop sand dunes and salt marshes in an effort to keep floodwaters from reaching businesses and homes near Howard Beach, Queens.

By Glenn Blain (http://wirednewyork.com/authors?author=Glenn Blain) / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Saturday, November 30, 2013, 12:29 AM

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1533269.1385788743!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/sandy30n-1-web.jpgAlex Rud for New York Daily News

Gov. Cuomo announced Friday a $50 million project that aims to protect homes and businesses in Howard Beach, Queens, from future storms.

ALBANY — The feds have approved a $50 million project to protect Sandy-battered Howard Beach, Queens, from future storms.
The project announced Friday by Gov. Cuomo would develop sand dunes, salt marshes and other vegetation along a section of the Queens coastline in a bid to keep floodwaters from reaching businesses and homes.
RELATED: SANDY-HIT AREA TO BE BOUGHT BY STATE (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/sandy-hit-area-bought-state-article-1.1521367)
The dunes and marshes would be placed on a 150-acre tract along Spring Creek and Jamaica Bay.
“We are moving forward on a major project that improves the natural infrastructure,” Cuomo said in a statement.
RELATED: LAGUARDIA GETS $37.5 MILLION FOR STORM PREP. (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/laguardia-37-5-million-storm-prep-article-1.1520232)
About 3,000 homes in the Howard Beach area suffered serious damage from Sandy’s fury 13 months ago.
Engineering studies and design work for the project will begin in 2014. Construction is expected to last about a year, state officials said.
RELATED: LEADERS ISSUE WARNING ON SANDY ANNIVERSARY (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/hurricane-sandy/leaders-issue-warning-sandy-anniversary-article-1.1500839)
The project is being funded with federal recovery funds.
“This project is another example of how we’re building back better to better protect New Yorkers’ homes and businesses,” Cuomo said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/cuomo-announces-50m-project-protect-queens-storms-article-1.1533270#ixzz2mAOTrAWu

February 21st, 2014, 10:05 AM
After Sandy, Manhattan Landlords Reach Out to Design Professionals for Flood Protection Solutions

Richard J. DeMarco

As one of the flood mitigation measures, Montroy Andersen DeMarco Architects incorporated a sealed “bathtub” foundation
with walls that will extend 12 feet above the ground level and nine feet above FEMA’s newly 100-year flood mark,
into the design of the new 560 West 24th Street luxury condominium tower in Manhattan.
Courtesy Peter Wilk/Wilk Marketing Communications

When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in October 2012, it sent building owners, architects, and public officials in search of solutions to protect buildings from future flooding. Soon after, FEMA raised the 100-year flood plain in Manhattan by approximately a foot, rendering most previously utilized measures no longer sound. Like many other design and engineering firms, we began helping owners of both existing and under-development properties with flood mitigation solutions immediately following the catastrophic storm.

We developed solutions that vary depending on the property type, design, and available architectural and engineering options dictated by the local zoning regulations. The upgrades also benefit the landlords by reducing the insurance costs and, in several cases of existing buildings, recovered New York City’s zoning Floor Area Ratio (FAR) credits by locating infrastructure above grade, in less valuable lower floor apartments. These credits allow for the construction of additional, more valuable rentable spaces on higher floors to recover the rentable area lost in new mechanical rooms

560 West 24th Street (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10006&page=63&p=443466&viewfull=1#post443466)

A good example of a comprehensive approach is the 560 West 24th Street luxury condominium tower currently under construction in Manhattan’s trendy Highline/West Chelsea area. MADGI is the architect of record for developers Adam Gordon Holdings and Tavros Capital Partners, with the design architect Steven Harris Architects. The 11-story structure was in the early construction phase when Sandy struck the city. As things were calming down and getting back to normal, our project team set out to revise the design to incorporate solutions that would protect the residents and the property from similar disasters.

Flood mitigation solutions at the new 560 West 24th Street luxury condominium tower in Manhattan will include
a 1,200-sq.-ft sealed cellar vault that will house crucial electrical and mechanical installations. The photo shows
vertical steel reinforcement bars imbedded in the concrete foundation slab, which will support the waterproofed walls of the equipment vault.
Courtesy Peter Wilk/Wilk Marketing Communications

Our first goal was to enhance flood protection for the entire property. The additional line of defense was to protect the utilities in case water enters the building. To achieve the first goal, we extended the foundation walls 12 feet above the ground level, about 11 feet above FEMA’s newly proposed flood mark. Resting on 87 piles socketed into the bedrock, the concrete, sealed “bathtub” foundation is designed to prevent any water penetration. This type of foundation was already specified for the building because underground water is present in this section of Manhattan. Following Sandy, we extended it much higher than originally specified. The foundation features 5,000 psi (“psi” stands for pound-force per square inch, a measure of concrete’s tensile strength) reinforced concrete with an external waterproofing membrane on the bottom and sides.

The 50-foot-long street-facing front of the structure incorporates two large storefront windows and four door openings to accommodate the ground floor commercial tenant and building entrances. The other three sides of the building feature solid concrete walls. Preventing water from entering the property through the openings was the next step in the flood mitigation design process. After analyzing different options available on the market, we recommended the FastLogs flood containment systems developed by Presray of Wassaic, New York.

http://www.metropolismag.com/FastLogs%20flood%20barrier%20complete%2005%20small .jpg
The FastLogs stackable flood barriers will protect both ground floor doors and windows of 560 West 24th Street.
The system features stackable six-inch-high aluminum sections, which during flood emergencies can be quickly
inserted into preinstalled steel jamb brackets on columns located on the sides of each door.
With the brackets imbedded in the walls, the system has a minimal impact on the building’s aesthetics.
Courtesy Presray

The FastLogs stackable flood barriers (http://www.presray.com/flood-protection/stackable-flood-barrier-fastlogs/) will protect both doors and windows. The system features stackable “logs,” or six-inch-high aluminum sections which, during flood emergencies, can be quickly inserted into preinstalled steel angles (or channels) called jamb brackets, on columns located on the sides of each door. Neoprene compression seals prevent leakage between logs, wall jambs, and a floor surface with steel embedments. With the angles imbedded in the walls, the system has a minimal impact on the building’s aesthetics.

To add another level of protection, we custom designed a utility vault to be located in the building’s cellar. The six-sided concrete vault, a secondary containment element, will have two submarine-like bulkhead doors, large enough to meet the New York City Building Code’s egress requirements. The vault will house the crucial electrical and mechanical equipment. It will be connected to the building above through a sealed concrete column with an internal raiser, which will contain electrical wires and a ventilation shaft for the vault. It will terminate above the FEMA-specified flood level, sealing the critical equipment in a watertight concrete structure. The vault’s concrete walls and ceiling will be waterproofed with a sheet membrane. (The sealed bulkhead doors are manufactured by Walz & Krenzer Inc. of Oxford, Connecticut.)

http://www.metropolismag.com/560%20West%2024th%20St%20bulkhead%20doors%20889%20 crop%20small.jpg
Sealed, submarine-like bulkhead doors will be installed in the waterproof utilities equipment vault located in the cellar of 560 West 24th Street.
Courtesy Walz & Krezner, Inc.

To be safe, we added a fourth level of protection. If the first three barriers fail, or the city’s power system goes off-line, the building will rely on its own power supply. It will include a 300Kv rooftop generator, powerful enough to sustain life-safety systems, hallway lights, and selected lights and electrical outlets in each residence.

The 560 West 24th Street project team includes MADGI, Steven Harris Architects, structural engineer Robert Silman Associates; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineer ICOR Associates; geotechnical/SOE engineer Bronzino Engineering; and owner’s representative Gardiner & Theobald.
Large, luxury residential building

In another example of emergency planning and flood mitigation, we are assisting an owner of an existing luxury residential building in the West Village. The property houses over 100 units and when it was flooded in the aftermath of Sandy, it lost all boilers and sustained damage to its electrical system. The owner reached out to us for assistance since we were already working on another project at the property.

Our architects analyzed the possible design and engineering options as well as zoning regulations. The review has resulted in flood mitigation solutions that protect the building’s infrastructure and allow the landlord to transfer the FAR credits, thus opening up an opportunity to expand the size of the building. FAR, the ratio of a building’s total zoning allowed floor area to the area of its zoning lot, is the principal bulk regulation controlling the size of buildings in New York City. The area utilized by mechanical equipment, electrical installations, and other utilities is not included in FAR calculations.

Our team recommended relocating the boiler room and the electrical room from the cellar to two apartments located on the second floor, which typically generates lower rents. The loss of the rentable square footage included in FAR entitled the landlord to transfer residential space to another area of the building. Furthermore, while performing the review of the property, we discovered additional unclaimed FAR credits. The combined credits allowed the landlord to add a penthouse level to existing top floor apartments and thus expand the property and eventually increase revenues once the expansion is completed.

We recommended several other protective measures as well. These included an installation of a 300kV rooftop emergency generator. The building’s owner is currently implementing our upgrades and revisions to the building.

Richard DeMarco, AIA is principal of New York City-based MADGI Montroy Andersen DeMarco Architects, a design firm that specializes in multi-family, commercial, corporate, and retail markets.

Copyright 2014 http://www.metropolismag.com/Point-of-View/February-2014/After-Sandy-Manhattan-Landlords-Reach-Out-to-Design-Professionals-for-Flood-Protection-Solutions/

February 21st, 2014, 10:18 AM
I saw a similar system to the FastLogs barrier installed as a test one weekend last year at the Verizon 140 West St building.



February 26th, 2014, 12:10 AM
No Single-Family Homes Fixed With Build It Back Funds Since Sandy

By Katie Honan

(http://twitter.com/katie_honan)http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2014/02/inset-13932540688572.jpg/extralarge.jpg (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140224/far-rockaway/despite-millions-funds-program-fails-repair-any-sandy-damaged-homes#slideshow)
The Courtney family have dealt with miscommunication, unhelpful administrators and confusing
paperwork as they try to receive some help from Build It Back to get back home.

NEW YORK CITY — Nearly a year and a half after Hurricane Sandy decimated large swaths of the city's waterfront, not a single one-family home has been rebuilt or repaired with the nearly $700 million earmarked for recovery.

Build It Back (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/tags/nyc-build-it-back), created to help storm victims who were displaced, had nearly 20,000 single-family home applicants for relief funds. Just 171 of those have been awarded money out of the $306 million pot as of Feb. 20.

None of these projects has started construction, though an official said, as of Thursday, 47 homes were in "varying stages of design consultations/pre-construction activities."

This has led some applicants to the program — which, according to the most recent statistics, has started only three multi-family construction projects from among the more than 1,000 applicants — to say it is mismanaged, misleading and mired in miscommunication.

Build It Back has already cycled through two directors — Brad Gair, the original boss, stepped down in November and its current director Kathryn Mallon left on Tuesday, as DNAinfo New York first reported. (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140219/rockaway-beach/another-high-level-sandy-recovery-official-leaves-de-blasio-administration)

The federally-funded program was announced in June as the city's next step after Rapid Repairs (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/tags/nyc-rapid-repairs), which used federal dollars to help restore utilities in damaged homes.

Build It Back was designed to provide cash for repairs and reimbursement funds for single-family and multi-family homeowners, resiliency projects for public housing and rental assistance for those impacted by the storm and the city has so far allocated $648 million in federal funds to the program (http://www1.nyc.gov/sandytracker/#0).

Starting in July, when registration opened, through the Oct. 31, 2013 deadline, thousands registered for assistance.

Last October, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the first Build It Back project, (http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/pr2013/pr-10-30-13.shtml) which distributed $2.5 million for three buildings in the city — Knickerbocker Village in Manhattan and two buildings in Rockaway.

Those buildings are being fixed up through the multi-family assistance program, which helps residential buildings that have five or more families.

Build It Back officials pointed to an uptick in meetings with applicants in an email to DNAinfo, as well as a jump in awards selections — which increased 52 percent, from 110 to 171, from Jan. 28 to Feb. 20.

City officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference on Thursday, have said that the complicated, document-heavy process for receiving funds from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has slowed the release of funds.

But the state's New York Rising program (http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/), by comparison, has already cut checks to thousands of homeowners totaling more than $84 million (http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/). That program, while structured differently, is funded by the same federal dollars.

Several emails to the mayor's office, which is handling comment requests for the Build It Back program, were not returned.

Applicants have been divvied up into three priority levels, determined by household income and a damage assessment.

According to the city, 50 percent of applicants are Priority 1, which includes homeowners with significant damage and an income lower than the city's median (http://www.nyc.gov/html/recovery/html/homeowners/homeowners-renters.shtml).

Thirty percent are Priority 2 and 20 percent are Priority 3, according to the city.

So far, the city has said it can only guarantee funds for those listed as Priority 1, and says it will only be able to help some applicants in Priority 2 and Priority 3. The exact timing for the assistance is unknown.

Carmen Coward, 42, a special education teacher from Canarsie, said she's been placed in Priority 2 — without much help in sight for her basement, where her son lives and which was gutted by flood waters.

She depleted her savings to fix her roof, despite $10,000 in FEMA aid, and make minor repairs to her home, she said.

After applying to Build It Back, inspectors came to take a look at the house on Dec. 14, but Coward has not heard from them since.

"What's the solution for a homeowner?" she said. "What did they do with all this money that was given to them? Who is benefiting from this, really?"

Joseph Courtney, 39, tore down his family's one-story bungalow in Neponsit in Rockaway last May after the storm's surge knocked it off its foundation.

He drained his savings and borrowed money from family to start working on the rebuilding process, and applied to Build It Back with the hopes of receiving some reimbursement.

His experience with the program has been problematic. He said it was disorganized and the hired "specialists" rarely had any information.

"Just give me an answer," the married father of four said.

He dealt with lost paperwork, rescheduled meetings and, as of last week, was told his priority had changed from a 1 to a 2 — which he was later told was a glitch in the computer system. He's now returned to a Priority 1, but without much information.

"If I never get anything from Build It Back, no problem. But if they're doling out money, I think that my family should be in the conversation," he said.

For residents in multi-family homes, the process hasn't been much easier.

Matthew Villetto, 31, who lives in The Beach House, a 43-unit oceanfront condo in Rockaway Beach, said his experience with the program has been chaoti

“It’s awful,” he said. “The program is underfunded, it's mismanaged.”

Villetto, a father of two and a senior project manager working at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, said the building had been placed as a Priority 2.

In an email sent by his case worker, he was told “as of right now, I do not have a timeline on when we will begin funding priority 2 projects.”

His building experienced more than $1 million in damage after the boardwalk smashed into it during the storm.

“They have no timeline, no idea if or when we’ll receive any funding,” he said.

Councilman Eric Ulrich hopes to discuss Build It Back at a City Council hearing in March.

"Clearly it's broken, it's not working the way it was initially intended," he said.

"But we have to move forward now, we have to make this work. And if it's not working, we have to find a way to make it work."


March 14th, 2014, 11:58 PM
This Storm-Proof House Could Be The Future of Breezy Point

by Jeremiah Budin

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/532320b4f92ea117ce006056/Screen%20shot%202014-03-14%20at%2011.29.36%20AM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/532320b5f92ea117ce006059/Screen%20shot%202014-03-14%20at%2011.29.36%20AM.png)
Renderings by Rayne Fouche and Larissa Searle, via the Urban Green Council (http://www.urbangreencouncil.org/UGCInteraction?key=VuPr1ULj4D3YuIxaVgYqfA_3D_3D)

The Urban Green Council has announced the results of its R3build contest (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/new-breezy-point-home-design-storm-proof-article-1.1721016), which asked designers to come up with ideas for single-family homes that could be built for $150,000 or less and would fit into the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged Breezy Point neighborhood in the Rockaways. Taking home the top prize is a duo from Australia, Rayne Fouche and Larissa Searle, whose design for their "Bayside Bunker," two pods connected by an internal garden, included prefab construction, a solar energy system, greywater recycling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greywater), and debris-proof windows. Fouche explained that living on the east coast of Australia, which has had its own weather-related troubles including floods and coastal erosion, uniquely prepared them for the contest. "We could, in many ways, relate to the geographic character of Breezy Point and the extreme weather conditions," he said. Second and third places and the People's Choice Award all went to New York-based designers, and their submissions are also worth checking out (http://www.urbangreencouncil.org/UGCInteraction?key=VuPr1ULj4D3YuIxaVgYqfA_3D_3D).

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/532320b6f92ea117ce006060/Screen%20shot%202014-03-14%20at%2011.29.44%20AM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/532320b7f92ea117ce006063/Screen%20shot%202014-03-14%20at%2011.29.44%20AM.png)

http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/532320b8f92ea117df006132/Screen%20shot%202014-03-14%20at%2011.29.24%20AM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/532320b9f92ea117df006135/Screen%20shot%202014-03-14%20at%2011.29.24%20AM.png)

New proposed design for Breezy Point homes is affordable and storm-proof (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/new-breezy-point-home-design-storm-proof-article-1.1721016) [NYDN]
R3build (http://www.urbangreencouncil.org/UGCInteraction?key=VuPr1ULj4D3YuIxaVgYqfA_3D_3D) [Urban Green Council]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/03/14/this_stormproof_house_could_be_the_future_of_breez y_point.php

October 26th, 2014, 08:00 AM
Building for the Next Big Storm

After Hurricane Sandy, New York Rebuilds for the Future


“All of this was hit pretty hard,” said Kai-Uwe Bergmann, sweeping his arm from the East River toward the looming sprawl of the Baruch Houses, a public housing complex that sits along the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive on the Lower East Side. “If another storm hits here in the future, it will be just as bad, probably worse.”

Mr. Bergmann’s job is to ensure that it doesn’t happen. As a partner at the Bjarke Ingels Group, a Danish architecture firm, he is one in a cast of hundreds trying to fortify New York against another storm like Hurricane Sandy (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/28/nyregion/hurricane-sandy.html), which ripped through the region two years ago this week. In the storm’s aftermath, there were calls for a single big fix, like sea gates that would close off New York Harbor to swells of rising water. But the solutions being tried out now are more widespread, and humbler, including stone revetments on Coney Island Creek to prevent “backdoor” flooding, and solar-powered streetlights on the East 12th Road boardwalk in Broad Channel, Queens, which is often flooded, even by lesser storms.

Volunteers planting sea grass on a dune built to protect Breezy Point, Queens, on the first
anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Adrees Latif/Reuters

While only a few of the smallest projects have been finished, the vast constellation of proposals — backed by what one official called a “strange polyamorous relationship” of the city, state and federal governments — will most likely take years and billions of dollars to complete, if indeed that is ever achieved. If there is one guiding principle at work, it is the notion that the city, which has thumbed its nose at the water for 300 years, can no longer keep the sea at bay, but must by necessity invite it in.

“We didn’t want to just build barriers; we wanted to build an ecosystem,” said Henk Ovink, a Dutch water-management expert who now serves as a senior adviser to the Presidential Hurricane Sandy (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/h/hurricanes_and_tropical_storms/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) Rebuilding Task Force, a group within the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which has earmarked billions for the program. “For that to happen, we have to live with the water, to understand it, while still understanding our vulnerabilities.”

In the next four decades, scholars say, sea levels are expected to rise by as much as 30 inches, and if the worst projections come to pass, about 800,000 city residents could find themselves living with the threat of being swamped. According to an insurance report commissioned by the city (http://www.swissre.com/rethinking/climate_and_natural_disaster_risk/Swiss_Re_provides_expert_input_for_New_York_City_s tudy.html), if New York suffers another storm like Sandy in the early 2050s, when ocean levels and the population are likely to be higher, it could cause $90 billion in damage — almost five times the cost of the initial storm.

Full article and video (New York Times) (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/nyregion/after-hurricane-sandy-new-york-rebuilds-for-the-future.html?ref=nyregion)

July 15th, 2015, 10:51 PM
See How Much of NYC Will Be Under Water In 200 Years

July 15, 2015, by Jessica Dailey

All map screenshots via Climate Central (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/6244/aaa4019).

It's easy to laugh off the image of an underwater New York City when it comes from something like the humorous maps (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/02/10/will_your_neighborhood_survive_the_apocalyptic_flo ods.php) made by designer Jeffrey Linn that show neighborhoods like Bed Sea, Middrown, and Port Greene. But it's not so easy to laugh off when the image comes from climate change scientists. New data published in Science (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/6244/aaa4019) shows that if the planet warms by 2 degrees Celsius, sea levels will rise about 20 feet. It's pretty much a given that this will happen, it's just a matter of when—it could be by the end of the century. A 20-foot rise is no where near Linn's extreme depiction of a 100-foot rise (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/02/10/will_your_neighborhood_survive_the_apocalyptic_flo ods.php), but it would still radically alter our coastline. The group Climate Central created an interactive map (http://ss6m.climatecentral.org/#12/40.6643/-73.9385) (h/t Gizmodo (http://gizmodo.com/us-coastlines-will-change-dramatically-when-earth-warms-1717522595)) that shows what this would mean for major cities in the United States. In New York, it means that entire neighborhoods would be wiped out and 1.8 million people would be displaced.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/660x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/55a6b701f92ea153e2011f1b/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%202.21.13%20PM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/55a6b701f92ea153e2011f1b/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%202.21.13%20PM.png)
All of Rockaway and Coney Island will be toast.

Obviously, it's impossible to pinpoint when exactly this could happen, but according to Gizmodo, "scientists are modeling two different warming scenarios to help humans plot a roadmap for how to avoid these futures." In one model, the planet could warm by 2 degrees Celsius within a century—and with people living to be 116 friggin' years old (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150706/east-new-york/116-year-old-brooklyn-woman-named-worlds-oldest-living-person), that means kids today would experience this—but Climate Central notes that two centuries is more likely:

When could the sea fully reach this height? Perhaps sooner than 200 years from now (see Table 1 in this scientific paper (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EF000239/abstract)), or perhaps much longer (for example, see this paper (http://www.pnas.org/content/110/34/13745.abstract)). It is easier to estimate how much ice will eventually melt from a certain amount of warming, than how quickly it will melt, which involves more unknowns.

But hey, at least we can take comfort in the fact that our entire city won't be swallowed up by a massive earthquake and tsunami at any moment (http://seattle.curbed.com/archives/2015/07/earthquake-pacific-northwest-new-yorker.php).

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/660x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/55a6b701f92ea153e2011f23/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%202.21.44%20PM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/55a6b701f92ea153e2011f23/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%202.21.44%20PM.png)
That island on the right that will partially survive? It is made of trash (http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2014/07/15/birds_and_beaches_in_brooklyn_a_canoe_trip_to_whit e_island.php).

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/660x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/55a6b700f92ea153e2011f0e/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%202.19.51%20PM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/55a6b700f92ea153e2011f0e/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%202.19.51%20PM.png)
Roosevelt Island and Long Island City will be completely submerged.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/660x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/55a6b700f92ea153e2011f06/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%202.19.34%20PM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/55a6b700f92ea153e2011f06/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%202.19.34%20PM.png)
City Hall will be on its own island, while the World Trade Center will be under water.

http://cdn.cstatic.net/gridnailer/660x/http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/55a6b6fff92ea153e2011eff/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%202.18.42%20PM.png (http://cdn.cstatic.net/images/gridfs/55a6b6fff92ea153e2011eff/Screen%20Shot%202015-07-15%20at%202.18.42%20PM.png)
North Brooklyn will turn into an archipelago of sorts.

US Coastlines Will Change Dramatically When Earth Warms by 2°C (http://gizmodo.com/us-coastlines-will-change-dramatically-when-earth-warms-1717522595) [Gizmodo]
Surging Seas 2C Warming and Sea Level Rise (http://ss6m.climatecentral.org/#12/40.7160/-74.0516) [Climate Central]

http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/07/15/see_how_much_of_nyc_will_be_under_water_in_200_yea rs.php

July 15th, 2015, 11:19 PM