Archive for the tag 'evacuations'

New evacuation map

New evacuation map

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration released a new evacuation map on Tuesday, creating a more zone system and adding 600,000 additional people to evacuation areas.

The new maps create zones numbered one through six, replacing Zones A, B and C, offering city officials more leeway in ordering specific areas to evacuate in the face of an oncoming storm and tidal surge. As many as 2,990,000 residents citywide now live in the zones – a number larger than the entire population of Brooklyn, the city’s largest borough.

Most notable, some parts of the zones extend further inland in Brooklyn and Queens, and sees areas like Gerritsen Beach – previously a secondary evacuation zone – bumped up to a primary area after it experienced extensive flooding during Superstorm Sandy.

In the new system, Zone 1 is the most vulnerable to flooding. In addition to Gerritsen Beach, Coney Island, the Rockaways, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and all of Sheepshead Bay south of the Belt Parkway are Zone 1.

Furthermore, the new zones include the addition of 26 Housing Authority developments, four hospitals and nine nursing homes. The administration was battered by critics after Sandy for not evacuating hospitals and nursing homes, and also for poorly responding to the needs of residents living in Housing Authority facilities.

Comparing it to the old map, it appears Zone 1, the primary evacuation zone, shrank in some areas compared to Zone A, and expanded in others. The old maps included a swath of Sheepshead Bay, from approximately Bedford Avenue to Ocean Parkway, up to Avenue X in the north, as Zone A. That’s been divided up between Zone 1 and 2. Elsewhere, including Gerritsen Beach, Mill Basin, parts of Bath Beach and the Canarsie coastline have been swapped from Zone B to Zone 1, reflecting the extent of Sandy’s flooding.

In fact, it appears that Zone 1 is based almost directly on the lines of where major flooding occurred during Sandy.

The new map and current evacuation orders can be seen here.

Do you live on a block that flooded during Sandy, but is not in Zone 1? Do you think you should be in Zone 1, or in a different zone than where you are? Let us know in the comments.


Left: old map; Right: new map (Click to enlarge)

Photo: Maria Danalakis

New York City’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, sternly defended the city’s decision not to evacuate hospitals and senior centers before the advent of Superstorm Sandy, according to a report in The New York Times.

The health commissioner faced a litany of fiery questions from the City Council and argued that the decision not to evacuate the 6,300 patients to safer ground was based on information from the National Weather Service. In the time that an evacuation was capable of being executed, the NWS had reported that Sandy was headed for Long Island Sound. According to Farley, by the time it was clear that the storm would strike the heart of the city, it was too late to perform a mass evacuation.

“We couldn’t have accomplished the evacuation of everybody in Zone A before zero hour,” Farley stated at a council meeting, according to the Times.

Despite Farley’s insistence that the combination of inaccurate information and bad timing were the main cause of blame for the mess left in Sandy’s wake, City Council members wouldn’t let him off the hook.

“It was chaotic,” said Councilman David Greenfield, commenting on his own experience of observing barefoot seniors hurried out of Coney Island nursing homes, according to the New York Daily News. “It looked like a Third World country.”

The emergency evacuations that ensued following the storm were also poorly organized, leaving many family members in the dark as to where their loved ones were sent.

In the face of rigorous criticism, Farley insisted that, “due to the heroic efforts of many people, no one lost their lives in health care facilities because of the storm,” a fact that was not swallowed whole by Council members, according to the Times:

Some council members disputed that assessment, saying they believed that some deaths of old people that had been attributed to natural causes should actually have been ascribed to the storm. Dr. Farley said he was willing to look into any such deaths, but that the ultimate decision was up to the medical examiner, who had not confirmed those suspicions.

Correction (1/29/2013 at 10:41 a.m.): The original version of this article indicated the Councilman Greenfield witnessed barefoot seniors exiting Coney Island Hospital. That was an error. He witnessed them leaving Coney Island nursing homes, and the article has been amended to reflect this. We regret any confusion this may have caused.

[UDPATE [12:25 p.m.): Ryles has notified Sheepshead Bites that power has been restored.]

A swath of Kingsborough Community College’s (2001 Oriental Boulevard) campus went dark this morning, forcing a partial evacuation as administrators and crews work to assess the system’s status.

A tipster on campus for a test at the school’s library notified Sheepshead Bites at approximately 11:00 a.m. that the library had been suddenly evacuated as the lights went out. The test administrators did not share details with our tipster, but did say that buildings without power were being evacuated due to an “emergency on campus,” and that it might have to do with a broader power outage affecting Manhattan Beach.

Ruby Ryles, a spokesperson for Kingsborough, confirmed that there was presently a power outage in her office in the Administration building.

“We just haven’t determined to what extent the outage is, but part, if not all, of the campus is without power,” she told Sheepshead Bites.

Ryles could not confirm if any buildings other than the library had been evacuated, or what the cause of the outage is. We are waiting to hear back from her if she receives more information, and will post when received.

It’s not clear how large the outage is. A resident on Hastings Street and Oriental Boulevard, near the neighborhood’s center, noted that he still had power. Menorah Home and Hospital (1516 Oriental Boulevard), located adjacent to the school, also has power, a rep told us.

Swaths of the community have been without power since Superstorm Sandy flooded homes and Con Edison infrastructure, and Con Edison has been doing construction work in the community.  Their outage map does not appear to reflect the Kingsborough outage as of press time, but there is a marker nearby on the map noting that there is an “emergency outage to make repairs.”

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Photo courtesy of MDanalakis via Flickr

Photo: Maria Danalakis

Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy forced the evacuation of Coney Island Hospital, the institution reopened yesterday with limited operations, with full services expected to come back online in the first days of 2013.

The hospital, at 2601 Ocean Parkway, is offering limited outpatient services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patients should enter through the Tower building on Avenue Z, and can call (718) 616-6360 for more information.

Coney Island Hospital was evacuated the afternoon after Hurricane Sandy made landfall, knocking power out to the building and flooding the complex’s basements, where generators were stored.

Rebooting the emergency room is the Heath and Hospital Corporation’s next priority, which will take several more weeks.

“Full service for [Coney Island and Bellevue] hospitals, including their critical care units, their operating rooms, their in-patient units for Coney Island, we believe we can do that by the first week of January,” said Alan Aviles of the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC), according to NY1.

Located within the Zone A evacuation area, Coney Island Hospital suffered extreme flooding throughout the complex. Not only will boilers, electrical systems and air conditioning need replacement, but the hospitals also stored backup generators, IT servers and assistance, and emergency room support technologies in basements that became submerged with water.

HHC said they will make changes to the hospital’s setup to better prepare for storms and flooding in the future, including moving backup generators and IT support to higher floors.

FEMA will cover some of the damages, as well as reimburse the city for some of the work done.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has requested $300 million for emergency room repairs resulting from Sandy.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning beginning at 2:00 p.m. today, lasting until 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, and a Coastal Flood Warning this afternoon through tomorrow morning. City officials are recommending that residents of areas hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy stay with family, friends or at an evacuation center until it’s over.

Cold weather, rain and high wind gusts are expected. Though it won’t be nearly as strong as Sandy’s fury, wind speeds are expected to reach 40 miles per hour.

All parks and beaches will be closed from noon today until midnight Thursday.

“If you live in a low-lying or a flood prone area, an area already impacted by the recent hurricane, or have concerns about flooding, consider staying with friends or family outside affected areas or in a NYC evacuation shelter.”

Sheltersare currently open. Locate the nearest shelter by visiting this site. If you need assistance with transportation, call 311 for help. All evacuation centers have at least one wheelchair accessible entrance.

From our friends at the Kings Bay Y:


Thank you to all of the volunteers so far in Far Rockaway.

WE NEED YOU in Far Rockaway — Beach 19th and Seagirt Boulevard- (the building is 125 Beach 19th street). It is the JASA high-rise building.

EVACUATING 25 seniors & in DESPERATE NEED for at least 30 Russian Speakers.

We will be offering people an opportunity to evacuate. The first evacuation point will be at the Kings Bay Y- in the gym.
We need the elderly screened and accommodated before the AFTERNOON STORM!

Ken Soloway is coordinating the Far Rockaway site 347-415-3868 pls text him as the phone service is shaky if he doesn’t answer.

With Hurricane Sandy relief efforts well underway, the largest challenge now is getting people – especially seniors and the disabled – out of homes lacking heat and hot water as temperatures continue to drop.

To help with that, the city has expanded the number of daytime warming centers available, including many in Southern Brooklyn. The complete list can be found here.

Unfortunately, most of those centers close at 4:00 p.m., leaving residents with few options for the coldest night time hours.

Currently, there are only four overnight shelters available, which you can find here.

Need help getting to any of these shelters? The city is operating shuttle buses in select locations. For all of Brooklyn’s thousands of residents across the borough, they have just one: MCU Park (Cyclones Stadium) Parking Lot at 1904 Surf Avenue at West 17th Street, which will take you to John Jay High School at 237 Seventh Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets.

However, during a press conference at P.S. 195 in Manhattan Beach yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg said getting residents to those shelters is a top priority, and residents can get transportation from the Office of Emergency Management by calling 311. They also say if you begin to feel the effects of hypothermia – beginning with uncontrollable shivering – you should call 911 or flag down a police car, which will get you to a heating center immediately.

Please, don’t take another risk. The cold is poised to be more deadly that Sandy itself. If you have no heat or hot water, find a place to stay that does. Whether it’s the home of family or friends, a welcoming neighbor, or a city shelter – get out, and get to a warm place.

Photo courtesy of MDanalakis via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Maria Danalakis

Authorities evacuated Coney Island Hospital and its emergency room yesterday, transferring patients to facilities in better-faring parts of the city following Hurricane Sandy.

Coney Island Hospital was in a flood zone and has been using generators since the hurricane caused power outages across Southern Brooklyn.

The evacuation began yesterday afternoon, according to a notice being posted on their website at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, the notice states:

Because of the urgent and evolving situation, family members may not be notified of a patient’s new healthcare facility location until after the transfer takes place. In addition, the hospital is experiencing problems with the phone system and is not able to receive calls at this time. Staff are making every effort to communicate with family members as patients are safely placed in the appropriate healthcare facility. Thanks for your patience and please check back for updates.

A reader sent these photos in, showing that scaffolding has collapsed around the Amalgamated Warbasse Houses at 2800 West 5th Street on the Brighton Beach – Coney Island border.

We really hope no one has been hurt in this collapse, or in any of the other incidents we’re increasingly hearing about.


We just got word off the police scanner that crews are responding to a downed power line that struck a vehicle on East 21st Street, between Avenue W and Avenue X.

The Con Edison power outage map shows an outage at that spot affecting 13 households. There appears to be an outage in the Marlboro Houses affecting 86 households. Those seem to be the only significant outages currently affecting our coverage area.

Seems like a good opportunity to reiterate that Con Ed has several safety reminders for customers:

  • Do not go or touch downed wires. Assume any wire is electrified.
  • If your power does go out, turn off your appliances so the circuits don’t get overloaded when the power comes back on.
  • Double-check your flashlights and radios and make sure you know where they are and where your spare batteries are.
  • To report an outage, call 1-800-75-ConEd or log on to You can also call 311. Please do not call 911 for non-emergencies.

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