With the devastation from Hurricane Irma in the news, it's not difficult to remember the damage that occurred when Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast.
If you live in Brooklyn in Flood Zone A area, on the Atlantic Ocean coast, near the East River or even near the Gowanus Canal, you may be forced to evacuate during major storms.
Flood Zones A - C in Brooklyn
A flood zone is an area that's prone to flooding, whether due to storms, wave surges or a combination of the above and rainfall. New York City has three different kinds of flood zones, with "Zone A" indicating the highest risk areas, such as coastal neighborhoods.
According to the New York City Office of Emergency Management, here are the different kinds of flood zone risks:
- Zone A: Homes, offices and real estate in Brooklyn's Flood Zone A face the highest risk of flooding from a hurricane's storm surge.
- Zone B: Homes, offices and real estate in Brooklyn's Flood Zone B have a moderate likelihood of evacuation if a hurricane is expected to reach NYC.
- Zone C: Homes, offices and real estate in Brooklyn's Flood Zone C have a low likelihood of evacuation in the event of a hurricane in New York City.
Flood Zone A areas are subject to mandatory evacuation, like during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
High-Risk Flood Zones in Brooklyn
Flood Zones in the A category can sometimes include entire neighborhoods, such as Manhattan Beach, which is a flat area and built very close to the Atlantic Ocean. In other parts of Brooklyn, like DUMBO, which is on the East River, not the Atlantic, has an uphill grade, as only certain sections of the neighborhood are high risk for flooding. In alphabetical order, the top ten Zone A Brooklyn areas include:
- Coney Island and Seagate: The entire area.
- DUMBO: Some sections only, from Old Fulton Street and Water Street to Water and Washington Street, all of Plymouth to Bridge Street, Plymouth Street to Bridge Street Ferry pier, and the waterfront sections of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
- Gowanus: Some sections only. 14th Street to 7th Street, from 2nd Ave to Smith Street, 7th Street to Carroll Street between 3rd Avenue and Bond Street, Carroll Street, to Butler between Nevins and Bond Streets.
- Greenpoint: Some small area only, and mostly nonresidential. They include along Gem, Banker, and Dobbin Streets up to Wythe, Norman to Calyer Street, west of Dobbin, east of McGuinness from Calyer Street to Newtown Creek and the India Street ferry pier.
- Greenwood Heights and Sunset Park Some sections only, from 19th Street to 38th Street from 3rd Avenue to the water.
- Columbia Heights: Some sections only, mostly nonresidential area on East River water-facing side of Columbia Street.
- Manhattan Beach: The entire area.
- Red Hook: Almost all areas.
- Sheepshead Bay: Sections only, from East 22nd to East 2nd up to Avenue X.
- Williamsburg: Small area only, on the waterfront up to Kent Avenue.
- Brooklyn Navy Yard: Nonresidential areas from Navy Street to Kent Avenue.
To see if your home or a specific address is in Flood Zone A, consult the NYC Flood Zone Map.
Residents of Public Housing In Brooklyn's Flood Zone A
When a hurricane hits, public housing buildings located inside of Evacuation Zone A and subject to mandatory evacuation may be closed for public safety. In this situation, residents must find shelter elsewhere, either with friends and family or in public shelters. The areas that are within New York's Flood Zone A include:
- Carey Gardens
- Coney Island
- Coney Island Site 1B
- Coney Island Site 8
- Coney Island Site 4,5
- O’Dwyer Gardens
- Red Hook East
- Red Hook West
- Surfside Gardens
Edited by Alison Lowenstein