Sheepshead Bay and much of Brooklyn’s southern coastline could be among the city’s worst hit areas if struck by a hurricane, and the Office of Emergency Management is urging residents to prepare themselves.
All of Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Coney Island and Plumb Beach – in addition to stretches of Sheepshead Bay and Bath Beach – are in high risk flooding areas called Hurricane Evacuation Zone A (orange on the map). Residents in Zone A face the highest risk of flooding from a hurricane’s storm surge. Almost any hurricane or near-hurricane type event making landfall in New York City could cause these areas to flood, requiring evacuation. Most of the rest of Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach are in Zone B, which could require evacuation if Hurricane Irene makes landfall as a Category 2.
The forecast for Hurricane Irene still remains uncertain, but some projections show that – at current rates – it could hit the Northeastern Seaboard as a Category 2 with winds of up to 100 mph, making it the strongest hurricane to hit the region in decades. Most forecasts, though, suggest it will strike New York City as a Category 1 at worst, which would still wreak havoc in coastal communities – and the city has singled out the area for potential evacuation.
“We’re taking the steps now to ensure that the city is prepared, that essential services can continue to be provided, and that the proper warnings are being given to people,” said Cas Holloway, the deputy mayor for operations, told reporters yesterday.
The city has also announced that the subways and tunnels will be shut down ahead of the storm’s expected landfall to prevent damage to the infrastructure.
The mayor is expected to make a decision about evacuation by late Friday. If the area is evacuated, either by order or recommendation, the nearest refuge centers to Sheepshead Bay’s residents are Roosevelt High School (5800 20th Avenue) and I.S. 187 (1171 65th Street).
Here are some useful links in case of an evacuation:
- Ready New York: Hurricane Guide
- Emergency Supply Kit and Go Bag checklist
- Need to know if where you live/work is in an evacuation zone? Here’s a tool to find out
- Evacuation zone map, with locations of evacuation centers
- Evacuation procedures and recommendations, from OEM
And remember to stay tuned to Sheepshead Bites during the storm. We’ll be reporting on it as it’s happening, and will deliver any breaking news and emergency messages relevant to the area.