In spite of persistent concerns raised by community members and experts, the East Side Coastal Resiliency project has omitted crucial measures to address rainfall-induced flooding. The repercussions are now painfully evident.
City officials brushed aside community members by asserting that residents lacked the expertise to comprehend the project’s intricacies. However, the absence of a comprehensive plan to tackle rainfall-related flooding has resulted in widespread inundation within our neighborhood and its surrounding areas.
“A number of us kept telling them at Community Board 3 that this was major issue and that their plan is not dealing with rainfall. It will only get worse once completed as rain will roll down the hill (from the levee covering East River Park) onto FDR & flood NYCHA,” writes former CB3 member Carolyn Ratcliffe.
Flooding on the FDR Drive alongside the demolished East River Park on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Sept. 29, 2023. Photo by Tommy Loeb
“Obviously they might get the message that their plan is a disaster as they have not incorporated heavy rainfall into their design. They kept telling us that their drainage system would manage all the water flow issues,” writes Ratcliffe.John Plenge writes, “As the FDR and parts of the Lower East Side flood today, not from any hurricane storm surge but from increasingly frequent precipitation, these words stressed repeatedly from DEP Commissioner and Chief Climate Officer Rohitt Argawalla at the last NYC public hearing on the environment and NYC climate change readiness keep ringing in my ears:“’The 4 gravest environmental dangers facing NYC citizens in all boroughs in the coming decades are, in order of magnitude of health risks:
1- heat island effect from loss of tree canopy,
2 – flooding from above and below due to extreme precipitation events,
3 – poor air quality,
4 – storm surge and sea level rise”
NYC’s amazingly expensive and very outdated ESCR, LMCR and BMCR coastal flood plans partially address the last one on the list while making the other three MUCH MUCH WORSE!.
And now that they have removed the parks that DID protect our communities we are left with no solutions.
Wake up NYC elected officials and Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, Thomas Foley – your expensive ideas are scientifically outdated and DO NOT WORK.