Four years ago “Hurricane Sandy: Battery Park unscathed”

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October 31, 2012 By Steven E. Greer, MD

BatteryPark.TV was the sole source of local detailed information for residents during the flooding crisis and power outages of Hurricane Sandy. We received numerous emails requesting status updates. People had evacuated only to find that they had gone to less safe areas of the city with no power, Internet, or cell phone service. Therefore, many were surprised to read our updates that the power in Battery Park never went out.

The only power outages in Battery Park were voluntary ones initiated by building managers concerned that flooding might trigger short circuits in Gateway Plaza. All buildings in the northern part of BPC were unfazed. Water never reached the doorsteps. In southern BPC, only a few buildings on Little West Street were briefly flooded when the West Side Highway served as a temporary river for two hours on Monday night.

Meanwhile, across the West Side Highway, the entire lower Manhattan was, and still is, in total darkness. What caused this disparity in how the storm impacted lower Manhattan?

Ironically, it is Battery Park City that has the reputation for being the region to flood the worst, and as a result, it is more difficult to obtain home mortgages through Fannie May and Freddie Mac. Yet the Lower East Side near the Seaport flooded far worse than BPC, which only saw the borders on the Hudson flood over the esplanade for two hours on Monday night at high tide.

Battery Park City is a relatively new development built in the 1970’ss on top of manmade sand and landfill. In contrast, across the highway is some of the oldest inhabited areas of the country built atop archaic infrastructure and subways in dire need of being brought into the 21st Century. It is unclear at the moment whether conEdison prophylactically shut off power in FiDi and Tribeca, or whether flooding caused the outages, but the below-ground infrastructure was a key determining factor either way.

Hurricane Sandy tested the predictive models of the civil engineers and BPC came out on top virtually unscathed. However, it is now very clear that New York City needs to embark on very costly infrastructure upgrades, including a levee system.

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7 Responses to Four years ago “Hurricane Sandy: Battery Park unscathed”

  1. R Anderson says:

    This is a good perspective and report

    The challenge is the press has given us a reputation for being flood prone when in fact we have proven we are not. The reputation will prevail when it comes to insurance requirements and resale issues. As a community, we would be wise to publicize that we were not a flood zone as in the article above.

  2. Mary says:

    Thanks for all the updates.

  3. Sandeep says:

    Is power in the Gateway 400 bldg restored ?

    Reply from Editor: “No. Power is still out”

  4. Wendy says:

    I agree with R. Anderson, the news sensationalized BPC as the flood zone yet we were not flooded and have full power. We are all very lucky, but we should all dispel the rumors that BPC was flooded during Hurricane Sandy.

  5. Karen says:

    The situation at 400 building of gateway plaza 375 south end ave is growing hopeless. We would feel more confident if con Ed was responsible. Gateway has some strange electrical situation where they provide electric. They had a few overworked maintenance guys hooking up a transformer to wet lines thereby frying the system. They have provided little to residents in way of water, communication lights etc. there are elderly people on high floors that can’t walk down the stairs. Btw where is the red cross and FEMA? Why isn’t red cross providing water to residents who can’t flush toilets…why isn’t gateway mgmt. how is the building save to live..there have been a few fires as residents igniting matches to pilot lights of ovens to stay warm…no water so a tragedy in making..same maintenance guys hooked up bulbs throughout stairs ….that is a dangerous situation with no water in case of a fire..there are no hotels because Bloomberg allowing a marathon with hotels chock full………desperate in battery park city…help….

  6. B. Brosen says:

    Finally some accurate information concerning the conditions in most of BPC during Sandy. We here on Rector Place as well as the buildings from the South Cove to the North End except for 375 S. End had most of their services intact. We had open Delis and Restaurants near Goldman Sachs including Regal Cinema. Tribeca had to come here to see the lights working.

    Bad press seems to be part of the DNA here so let the NY Times and the other papers hear our complaints about their inaccurate reporting.

    Lets talk up our good fortune here.


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