Archive for the tag 'severe weather'

Sheepshead Bay's cooling centers.

Sheepshead Bay’s cooling centers.

The National Weather Service this morning issued a heat advisory for New York City until 6 p.m. tomorrow, cautioning vulnerable populations to stay cool if they can.

With temperatures expected to hit the low-90s today and tomorrow, with high humidity and possible thunderstorms in the afternoons and evenings, people without air conditioning, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions are at risk. The city is urging these populations to avoid strenuous activity and stay indoors, with air conditioning if possible. Wear light weight and loose-fitting clothing and keep hydrated with water.

Additionally, the city has opened cooling centers will be open. Most local centers are open until 4:00 p.m. today. Here are the five closest centers to the Sheepshead Bay Road area.

  • Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Senior Center – 60 West End Avenue
  • Senior Alliance Neighborhood Senior Center – 161 Corbin Place
  • Jay-Harama Neighborhood Senior Center – 2600 Ocean Avenue
  • Shorefront Neighborhood Senior Center – 3300 Coney Island Avenue
  • The Bay Neighborhood Senior Center – 3643 Nostrand Avenue

More centers can be found using this Office of Emergency Management web tool.

Since this weather is certain to continue over the next few months, be sure to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can be fatal. Here are some of the signs:

  • Heat exhaustion
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea
    • Headaches
    • Excessive thirst
    • Muscle aches and cramps
    • Fainting
  • Heat stroke
    • Hot, flushed, dry skin
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Decreased sweating
    • Shortness of breath
    • Confusion or delirium

You can find more about the signs and symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion at WebMD.

Of course, you can always take the day off and spend it in one of our local, air conditioned libraries, or take in a movie at the UA, or, heck, just ride the subway all day long.

Stay cool!

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)


This just in from the National Weather Service…

Notification issued on 5/23/13 at 3:30 PM. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning citywide until 5:30 PM. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as well as other drainage areas and low lying spots. Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross safely. Move to higher ground.

Looks like we’re in for it again. Has your street changed since Superstorm Sandy? Does Sheepshead Bay and our surrounding communities have new flood zones? Does your yard or street flood more often now since Sandy? Let us know. Send pictures and tips to tips@ sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

The National Weather Service issued a sudden Flash Flood Warning shortly before 8:30 a.m. and lasting until 9:15 a.m., as a torrent of rainfall came down on Brooklyn, flooding homes, highways and and streets.

There was major flooding on the Belt Parkway near Cropsey Avenue, and the highway ultimately shut down for short period because of it. Eventually one lane in each direction reopened. Also near Cropsey Avenue, there were reports on the police scanner that cars were submerged on Shore Parkway, and even drifting in the current.

We heard about flooding from Plumb Beach all the way to Dyker Heights. Now that it’s over, we’re still waiting to hear about conditions in certain parts of the neighborhood, like the Plumb Beach bungalow courts and areas around Cropsey Avenue. If you know how it is, please fill us in in the comments!

Readers have kept us updated so far, sending in the following photos.

This one’s from the entrance to the Belt Parkway at Bay Parkway, going west:

Photo by Regina Sorkin.

Things aren’t much better on the Belt Parkway, even now that the rain has stopped. Reader Rachel Tarantul sent us a photo taken just a few minutes after 10:00 a.m. that shows water sitting in two lanes of the highway, and only one lane is open in each direction. She says traffic is terrible.

And this was by the Cropsey bus depot:

Photo by Regina Sorkin.

Along the border of Coney Island and Brighton Beach, this is from the parking lot of 601 Surf Avenue:

Photo by Regina Sorkin.

We’re also hearing about homes and building basements flooding. A reader tweeted to us that a Sheepshead Bay apartment building on Homecrest Avenue near Avenue Z had several inches of water. Our own Elle Spektor is dealing with a flooded basement in her Bensonhurst home. Here’s what it looked like in the streets near her:

And here’s one of a flooded Sheepshead Bay garage, on Avenue W and East 26th Street, from reader Danil Rudoy:

Nearby, on Avenue V between Brigham Street and Brown Street, reader nolastname snapped this. There’s about two inches of water filling up the alleyway.

In Manhattan Beach – an area that has certainly seen more than enough water lately – Albert Hasson sent us this photo of a car trying to get through what appears to be at least a foot of water on Ocean Avenue:

Hopefully now that the rain stopped – and almost exactly at 9:15 a.m., as the National Weather Service predicted – the water is receding and things getting back to normal. Make sure to let us know if there’s any lasting damage or floodwater in your area, and send photos and other information to nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Updated (10:49 a.m.) to add the photo from nolastname.

I am literally – literally – foaming at the mouth of the thought of spring. I’m so eager for the warm weather that when I first stepped outside this morning, into the 50+ degree weather, I said “hot diggity ” and stripped down to my boxers, mixed up some mojitos and sat in a lawn chair in front of my house.

Then I realized there were no babushkas around me, the younger gals weren’t yet in their, uh, more amenable attire, and the sound of school kids at Homecrest Park weren’t echoing through the side streets. I must have jumped the gun on spring.

And how could I forget that just three days ago – three! – it was a white winter, with a heavy, wet snow blanketing the neighborhood (if only for a moment). Luckily, some of our friendly neighborhood photographers sent over what they got from Friday’s snowfall to remind me just how darn far away warm weather really is. There’s also one from the Church Avenue Q line station that was just nifty.

Thanks guys: Robert Fernandez, Roman Kruglov and Ella Rabinovich.

Continue Reading »

Nemopocolypse came and went, and while it was historic snowfall for other areas, Sheepshead Bay saw just nine inches of snow – making it a fairly routine blizzard.

Department of Sanitation did a fantastic job clearing the roadways quickly, and transit workers and management kept the system on track with little incident.

Responsible neighbors woke up Saturday morning, donned warm clothing, shoveled their properties, and dug out their cars. For the most part, it was a perfect snow; a blanket of white followed by warm temperatures and clear skies that made cleanup a breeze.

After taking care of my own property, I struck out Saturday morning to capture the neighborhood engulfed in white powder – and so did many of our readers. Below is a photo gallery of my photos, as well as those of the following contributors: Karen Hill, Cookie Ann, Sasha, Kathleen Higgins, Randy Contello, Katerina and Lelde, Brian Hoo, Melissa K., Igor G., Iris and Jake Rubinsky. Thank you for all of your submissions!

View the photo gallery.

Vic DiBiteto is clearly a victim of the media hype surrounding Nemo – which, by the way, is a name bestowed by The Weather Channel, not the National Weather Service, which doles out the real names, and never to winter storms.

Anyway, Vic, a comedian and former performer at the much-missed Pips, needs to get his bread and milk before the flurries start falling.

Have you picked up your bread and milk?

Thanks to Ann H. for pointing this out to us on Facebook.

Winter storm Nemo is taking on the northeast today and tomorrow, throwing government officials and media outlets into a tizzy.

While we know New York City has certainly seen worse than the foot or so of snow expected, the precipitation combined with high winds and storm surges in coastal areas merits some caution.

The current predictions from the National Weather Service are as follows:

  • Rain and snow will turn into all snow by 3 p.m., totaling 2-to-4 inches before evening, with wind gusts hitting as high as 39 mph.
  • Snow will pick up in the evening, with as much as 5-to-9 inches piling up, and winds pick up speed to 46 mph.
  • Snow will continue into Saturday morning, adding about one inch into the mix, while wind gusts slow down a bit to 41 mph. Saturday will be mostly sunny, with highs around 31 degrees.

The high winds are expected to fuel a storm surge of three to five feet, an amount that Southern Brooklyn would normally handle without incident. However, concerns are that some coastal defenses remain down after Sandy, and some flooding may occur locally.

So what’s the worst that can happen? While the Weather Channel may be calling Nemo “historic,” and the city is rushing about to look as prepared as possible following Bloomberg’s 2010 mishap, we think we’ll be all right. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare. Here are some precautions you should take:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel – Wet or icy roads are dangerous enough. But also avoid going out on foot or any other means. Strong winds could dislodge tree limbs or other debris, which can turn deadly.
  • Prepare for power outages – Charge all of your mobile devices and any other electronics you may need, and make sure you have fresh batteries in your radios and alarm clocks. Con Edison infrastructure is still vulnerable following Superstorm Sandy, and power lines can be knocked out.
  • We hate telling people to stock up on water, gasoline and other such supplies, but if you can, you should.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially if you live next to senior citizens or disabled people. Hey, even if they’re better prepared than you, you’ll score points for being a nice neighbor and maybe they’ll invite you over for some pie another day.
  • When shoveling, don’t overexert yourself, and be aware of utilities. Don’t cover up fire hydrants in mounds of snow.

Currently, alternate side parking is suspended, but meters are in effect and school is in session. If you get antsy waiting for the city snow plows, you can monitor their progress at PlowNYC, set up after complaints from the 2010 blizzard.

As for Sheepshead Bites, we won’t be freaking out, but we will be covering the most important information about the storm as it happens. Turn here for the latest information from government authorities and utility companies, school, transit and road closures, as well as on-the-ground reports from readers around the neighborhood.

And remember to save our e-mail address (tips [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com), phone number (347-985-0633) and Twitter account (@sheepsheadbites) into your phone. If you see downed trees or power lines, flooding, or anything else, snap a photo with your cell phone and e-mail, text or Tweet it over.

Oh, and send all your pretty snow photos over to photos [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Good luck, and be safe!


There was a time when I enjoyed snow and snowy days. There used to be a thrill in getting off from school, or work, and then adventuring out into the fluffy white stuff and frolicking around.

Those days are gone for me. I hate the winter and its frozen air, shutting us in our homes and whipping our faces with cold when we try and walk around outside. Sadly, it looks like we are about to get a big dose of winter this weekend, as Nemo blows into town.

According to the Weather Channel, Nemo could be a storm of historic proportions. I think I speak for about eight million people when I say this city has had its fill of historic storms recently and the promise of a new one does nothing but fill me gloom.

On the bright side, barring a miscalculation from the weather experts, Nemo will hit hardest in New England, burying Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine with two to three feet of snow while New York will only be dealing with about a half a foot of snow; annoying, but manageable.

So, just in case we get a taste of what is expected to be dumped on New England, it might be a good time to stock on groceries, reassess any serious weekend traveling and prepare for potential power outages caused by high speed damaging winds.

Best of luck and stay safe.

Source: Dan Hendrick via Twitter

The weather has been crazy lately. Yesterday, it was almost 60 degrees. Just a few days ago, we were enjoying the slightly cooler pleasures of 10 degree weather. Our buddy and Jamaica Bay Lives documentary filmmaker Dan Hendrick tweeted us this incredible photo of Jamaica Bay frozen over near completely. Dan let us know that the Bay has not been this frozen in years. Pretty incredible; thanks for the great photo, Dan.

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