Wrecking East River Park can wait, but the Lower East Side and East Village need storm surge barriers for the hurricane season coming up.
The East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) plan that would demolish East River Park is likely to be delayed. “In New York City, which was crippled in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy, the budget crunch will force some projects to get pushed back, according to Phil Ortiz, a spokesman for the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency,” reports the New York Times.
Delaying destruction of East River Park is fine with us, though the reason for it is terrible.
But we need Interim Flood Protection, and we need it this year.
In November, more than five months ago when ESCR was approved, a commitment was made to study interim storm protection. In fact the Deltares report recommended it.
A delay in completion of ESCR will leave the community vulnerable to flooding for more than the original time line of five years. They just predicted that this hurricane season will include several severe storms.
We don’t want to be in a position where we are presented a final report without any input from Community Board 3 and the local community.
Those of us who were here for Sandy have a lot of local knowledge that needs to be incorporated into any study and recommendations.
A press release from Council Members Margaret Chin, Keith Powers and Carlina Rivera made this commitment on Nov. 12, 2020:
“New York City Emergency Management, in coordination with the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency and DDC, will conduct further feasibility evaluation to understand whether there is potential for Interim Flood Protection Measures along the project area. The results of this analysis will be shared with the community.”
It’s time to make good on that promise and find solutions before there’s another storm surge. Hurricane season starts June 1.
–Tommy Loeb, Lower East Side
“Here’s how Coronavirus Could Raise Cities’ Risk for Climate Disasters” by Christopher Flavelle, New York Times, April 24, 2020
Press Release from Nov. 12, 2019:
Another post on the Deltares Report.