I think it is fair to say that, given the severity of the warnings we are receiving about the monster hurricane headed our way, all fun and outdoorsy events scheduled for Sunday, August 28 either are or will be canceled. According to Brooklyn.com, “Due to the hurricane, the city has revoked all permits for events to take place on Sunday,” so if you were planning to go to the Brighton Jubilee, or the Afro-Punk Festival in Commodore Barry Park, you are — in the parlance of our times — s.o.l.
CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We summarize the week’s statistics for the 61st Precinct reports every Friday. The 61st Precinct is the police command responsible for Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Kings Highway, Homecrest, Madison, Manhattan Beach, and Gerritsen Beach.
Despite the weather, this event is going forward. Here’s the press release:
Muslims help local communities amidst economic crisis
BROOKLYN, New York (August 23, 2011)- This August, over 5,000 needy children across New York City will receive free school bags filled with supplies including notebooks, pens, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, rulers, crayons and more.
ICNA Relief, a division of The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), a NY based national organization, plans to give out 350 free school bags with school supplies to the Sheepshead Bay community this Saturday, August 27, 2011, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
This initiative is part of ICNA’s national Back 2 School Giveaway Project, which is hosting over 30 similar events across the U.S. These efforts hope to help over 15,000 children nationwide.
With the city’s website - NYC.gov – taken out of commission by a spike in traffic, you might be wondering what the latest city announcements have been regarding Hurricane Irene. Here’s a roundup of recent alerts:
- Earlier this morning, the National Weather Service issued a hurricane watch for the five boroughs. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible in the next 48 hours. Residents in the Zone A evacuation area are encouraged to leave their homes before the storm arrives. A Category 1 hurricane is expected to impact our area from Saturday night through Sunday night. Rainfall of 5 to 10 inches is expected, with extensive flooding, tidal surges, beach erosion and winds 40 – 80 MPH with gusts approaching 100 MPH.
- The New York City Department of Transportation will be suspending Alternate Side Parking Regulations Citywide on Saturday, 8/27/11, and Monday, 8/29/11, due to forecasted inclement weather. Parking meters will also be suspended citywide on these dates.
- Police boats have been deployed to precincts in low-lying areas, on stand by for hurricane response.
- Because Irene’s winds could bring down trees, all NYers should stay out of City parks Sunday, and their backyards if they have trees there.
- New York City began evacuating hospitals and nursing homes in low-lying areas on Friday morning. This includes Coney Island Hospital and a number of local nursing homes. If you have loved ones at these locations, please contact the hospital or home for more information.
- Mass transit officials are preparing for a possible shutdown, starting on Saturday, of their entire system — the subways and buses in New York City as well as the commuter rail lines in the suburbs.
- The mayor has ordered all construction work citywide to halt until 7:00 a.m. Monday.
- The mayor will decide whether to issue a general evacuation order of Zone A residents – which includes a large portion of our coverage area – by 8:00 a.m. Saturday.
- Anyone who intends to use Access-a-Ride to evacuate should do so today, as capacity may not be available tomorrow.
- Remove loose objects like lawn chairs,hanging plants and pots, garbage cans and other furniture from outside.
Thank goodness for historians, always reminding us that we’ve lived through bad events before and always lived to build a better, brighter world.
This time I’m talking about Gravesend historian Joseph Ditta, who posted the above photo showing a flooded Sheepshead Bay street in 1933. He writes:
No, these Sheepshead Bay ladies aren’t cooling their heels in the surf. They are wading across the flooded intersection of Avenue Y and East 11th Street after a violent thunderstorm soaked the region on Sunday, July 9, 1933. The view is looking northwest (the frame house behind the tree is 2472 East 11th Street), with the ladies standing in the middle of Avenue Y, just two blocks west from where Squan Creek, a wiggly tributary of Coney Island Creek, once flowed freely through the grass. The early years of the twentieth century brought such drastic development to marshy southern Brooklyn that its newly asphalt-covered landscape could not cope with such sudden downpours.
Yep, I love modernity. Happy hurricane, everyone!
“By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.”
– William Shakespeare, Act IV, Scene I, “Macbeth”
Photo by Boris Shekhman
It was less than two years ago that another hurricane beginning with the letter “I” battered Plumb Beach, obliterating a section of it and making vulnerable an exposed strip of the Belt Parkway to future flooding. Now it appears the city has failed to learn its lesson, and no preparations have been made in advance of Hurricane Irene.
With Hurricane Irene expected to make landfall on Sunday, no additional sandbags have been added to the Plumb Beach shoreline – posing a unique danger to residents because of existing erosion and its proximity to the Belt Parkway. In its current condition, one relatively strong storm could be successful in washing away a major transportation artery. As the photo above shows, the existing sandbags have slipped backward towards the waters, weakening its role as a potential barrier between the waters and the highway.
Meanwhile, the various agencies that oversee the strip of land – a hodgepodge of federal, state and city jurisdictions – are pointing fingers at each other.
Hurricane Irene has claimed it’s first victim.
Minutes after Sheepshead Bites posted that the Brighton Beach Neighborhood Association’s annual Brighton Jubilee would go forward despite the hurricane, executive director Pat Singer made a snap decision to call off the event for safety reasons.
Singer said she consulted with authorities at the 60th Precinct – as well as got an earful from worried vendors – and decided that calling off the event was in everyone’s best interest.
“It could be dangerous,” Singer said. “I don’t want to put people in danger. It’s just disappointing because I look forward to it as much as anyone else. But it’s the right thing to do.”
Since the BNA canceled the event and not the city, Singer isn’t sure the rain date is a definite. But she believes the city will honor their commitment, and she’s requesting a date in mid-September. Besides, she said, better weather will mean more attendees, and that’s what event vendors look forward to.
“It’s a win-win if I do it this way,” she said. “Everyone has a chance to make money.”
UPDATE (3:25 p.m.): Organizers have made a snap decision to cancel the event. For full details, see our updated post.
Organizers of the annual Brighton Jubilee aren’t relenting with their plans to press forward with the Sunday event, despite the threat of Hurricane Irene making landfall in the area on the same day. But the city may pull the plug anyway.
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With Hurricane Irene around the bend and an earthquake just behind us, perhaps it’s time for a little discussion about property losses and how to mitigate the pain through the tax system.
Whether it’s water damage from the storms, a tree falling on your car, the loss of your wedding ring or even being the victim of a financial scam – victims of casualty, disaster or theft have some protections within the tax code. Let’s take a look at disaster loss tax deductions, how they work, and its history.