According to Councilman Michael Nelson’s office, the city’s efforts to evacuate Brighton Beach is getting bogged down by cultural barriers.
Nelson’s legislative director, Steve Zeltser, said yesterday evening that the mayor’s office has been coordinating with him and local Russian leaders to double down on their efforts. He wrote to us last night:
As of now, it seems that the residents of Brighton Beach are not heeding the warnings. The problem is that there are many Russian immigrants and other non English speaking individuals who just do not comprehend the severity of the issue or simply do not want to leave. In response, Councilman Nelson’s staff, members of the Brighton Beach BID and local community activists will be in Brighton Beach tonight handing out flyers in Russian and speaking to local residents asking them to leave the area.
If you have friends or family in Brighton Beach who do not speak English, please contact them and convey the severity of the situation, and the city’s order that they evacuate.