Despite more than a week of cleaning, Emmons Avenue’s eastern end, a strip of waterfront condos, bungalows and boating clubs, remains in shambles.
We visited Emmons Avenue’s two waterfront bungalow colonies earlier this week, and, though Hurricane Sandy destroyed several homes and left families for the streets, there had been no visits from FEMA, Red Cross or any examples of the volunteer frenzy other neighborhoods have received.
In the absence of outside help, neighbors banded together to help each other.
Coast Guard and Department of Environmental Protection workers were at the Sheepshead Bay marina this morning, attempting to rein in spilled fuel that collected around the Ocean Avenue footbridge.
The fuel leaked into Sheepshead Bay from boats that were ripped apart and sank during Hurricane Sandy, just one of the many environmental terrors caused by the Frankenstorm.
The authorities were on scene at 3:00 p.m., beginning to set up floating booms to surround the area where it has collected, where they will then pull it in and suck the contaminated water out of the marina. As they worked, the air was thick with the smell of fuel.
UPDATE: 10/29/12 09:21 PM. Go indooors immediately and remain inside. DO NOT DRIVE. Call 9-1-1 for emergencies only.
Alert issued 10/29/12 08:00 PM. Due to severe storm conditions, all NYC residents are being instructed to go indoors immediately and to remain indoors until further notice. Go indoors, and stay away from windows. Only use 9-1-1 for emergencies.
Sheepshead Bites is reporting from what we hope is higher ground. The main office is almost underwater and Ned is dealing with keeping things dry. We’ll be posting when we can and will bring you whatever important information we can.
Okay, folks. I appreciate the photos and videos, but it’s time to get indoors. Your own photos and videos show why.
Water levels are elevating very quickly around Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach and Marine Park. This morning, high tide brought some flooding in Manhattan Beach, but this evening’s high tide will be much higher and rougher, as it coincides with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. The storm will bring not only choppy waves during high tide, but a storm surge expected to reach as high as 11 feet.
The photo above comes from Paul Moses, who has more Pulitzer prizes than I do. He went out to Marine Park to check out the Gerritsen Creek salt marsh.
Here’s a photo taken about 4:50 p.m. You’ll see it’s about a foot away from overflowing, three hours before high tide. The water has covered all the rocks. Also, the footbridge to the nature trail is swamped. The water is very high, but still far off from flooding any homes.
Over at the Breakers condo development on Emmons Avenue, Albert shows us how high the water is coming up against their bulkhead, which is about the same level as the public bulkhead along Emmons Avenue.
When we posted this morning about Manhattan Beach flooding, we began getting e-mails from those who visited the area around noon saying that it wasn’t flooded. That’s because it was low tide, and the water receded. But that progress was quickly lost. Mike sent us this video, filmed at 1:00 p.m.
Probably one of the most illustrative videos we’ve seen is this one by Michael Y. After filming a relatively calm Manhattan Beach esplanade during low-tide, he returned at approximately 3:30 p.m. In the few minutes he’s standing there filming, you can see the water creep up, eventually overtaking the bulkhead and pouring out onto the street. Again – this is 4.5 hours before high tide!
A police sergeant is facing disciplinary charges after his thoughtless actions allegedly led to the sinking of a fully-equipped $500,000 Port Authority patrol in the waters between Breezy Point and Manhattan Beach earlier this month.
According to a New York Post report, the officer ordered the opening of a hatch beneath the water line, causing the vessel to flood and putting 11 lives at risk.
The vessel sank 40 feet to the ocean floor on September 9, forcing eight officers and three civilians to swim approximately 900 feet to shore. Nobody was seriously injuried.
The 37-foot M-2 Moose Boat, equipped with firefighting hoses, nozzles, marine radios, radar, GPS, scuba gear and inflatable rafts, went under during routing rescue exercises after “vibrations” were felt coming from the ship’s engines. A civilian safety consultant from Ocean Rescue Systems, a Maine-based firm hired by the Port Authority to oversee the exercises, suggested the officer open the hatch to take a look.
The hatch, though, was under the water line, and should only have been opened in dry dock.
The boat sank within a half-hour.
The officer faces disciplinary charges and, according to the Post, “will likely lose vacation days for failing to maintain supervisory control and basically abdicating his command to a civilian.”
Reader Kathleen Higgins snagged this photo of the quirky Dragonfly Banquet roaming the waters of the Rockaway Inlet this past Sunday.
The vessel is a unique raft made entirely of recycled materials by Tim Johnson and Gretchen Neutrino in 1995, and the raft’s beautiful murals were painted by Gretchen in a fit of psychedelic inspiration.
The ship itself originally arrived in the New York-area after sailing down from Provincetown, Massachusetts, making a stop in Martha’s Vinyard, then reaching its final destination in Broad Channel, Queens, and becoming a part of the artist’s collective in the middle of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
The Dragonfly Banquet is a raft constructed entirely from recycled materials of another ship, that was also constructed of entirely recycled materials. The original ship, known as the “Son of Town Hall,” was the first vessel made entirely from scrap and recyclables to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
The journey of the original ship was a perilous two-month trip that featured a crew member heart attack, and intense storms with gale force winds. What remains of the “Son of Town Hall” is probably what’s built into the Dragonfly Banquet, as the original vessel was set for imminent destruction by French authorities as of 2008.
Well known are the stories of heroism on the part of firefighters, police officers and other first responders on September 11, 2001. But there’s yet another story of heroism that has largely gone under the radar, involving ordinary civilians who put their life and property in harm’s way to save others.
Boatlift chronicles the story of the largest sea evacuation in history, when a fleet of civilian and Coast Guard vessels voluntarily navigated to the seawall of lower Manhattan, and helped evacuate nearly 500,000 people in less than nine hours.
Sheepshead Bay’s own Vincent Ardolino, captain of the Amberjack V, was one of those who played a pivotal role on that September morning 11 years ago. Seeing the attack on the news, he boarded his vessel and set out to ferry evacuees between the boroughs – long before the Coast Guard put out a call to all available ships for help in the evacuation. Ardolino is heavily featured in the film, as are captains from around Brooklyn and New York City, as well as New Jersey.
Boatlift was executive produced by Stephen Flynn and Sean Burke, and co-directed by Rick Velleu. It premiered on September 8 at the “9/11 Tenth Anniversary Summit: Remembrance/Renewal/Resilience” in Washington. The summit kicked off a national movement to foster community and national resilience in the face of future crises. See www.road2resilience.org to learn more.
Just minutes after New York City was placed under tornado warning on Saturday morning, the area got a bit of Kansas thrown its way. Winds picked up quickly as the storm rolled in off the Atlantic, over the Rockaways, Manhattan Beach, Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay. And with it came a waterspout – essentially a tornado on water – that came ashore, into Gerritsen Beach, and then up towards Flatbush.
Our readers were all over the place, capturing video and photos as the ominous clouds rolled over the Bay and the funnel touched ground.
We’ve covered the trash that has periodically piled up in the water at the various corners of the Bay before. Looks like there’s been even more reported trash sightings over the weekend. A reader submitted a note detailing what she saw and attached some photos of the environmental hazard.
Sulvy P. said:
I have lived around the area for years and it seems that absolutely nothing is done with all the trash that is constantly collected and is always sitting in the corner of the bay by the Holocaust memorial. Today this really went overboard. Someone disposed of about 20 fish that all piled up in that corner and made the whole area smell very bad. All the fish were huge and cut from the stomach. I am not sure with what purpose this was done but it may be coming from the boats on the bay… This will only affect the beautification process of the Sheepshead bay area. Something needs to be done. It is not attractive, it’s right by the Holocaust Memorial, it smells bad and I am sure its not healthy for the animals that live there and for the people that are constantly fishing in the area.
Our photographer Erica Sherman contributed the last two photos of the gunk as well. Note that in her photos there is also a dead fish floating belly-up, with garbage on it.
Reader Andrew Kent is also outraged by the garbage accumulation in the Bay. He wrote on Erica’s Facebook page, where her photo was first posted:
Perhaps people who get caught littering or illegally dumping should be offered a choice of draconian fines or a day of community service cleaning up messes like these. Since the garbage seems to accumulate in easily accessible places, this could be done from the bulkheads with nets on long poles, although an afternoon in a row boat might be more fun. And where are the environmental groups, like the American Littoral Society, that do the beach cleanups? Maybe when the geese, swans, and other wildlife start disappearing the Bay’s sorry condition will get more attention.
Dead fish, nasty litter, and a foul smell near the Holocaust Memorial? If this isn’t a situation that needs some serious remedying, I don’t know what is.