Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Hurricane Sandy impacted New York City in a lot of ways. 44 deaths, nearly 70,000 displaced from their homes, and $19 billion in damages across the city’s coastline. 

Sandy was especially disruptive to the city because water inundation surpassed a 10.5 foot threshold that would lead to subway system flooding. The closest it came to this threshold was in 1960 during Hurricane Donna.

The subway flooding stopped service for up to a week and the bridges between  Brooklyn/Queens and Manhattan became bus shuttle lines for this duration so that community members working across the river had continued access to their jobs.

With worsening climate change and sea level rise, the impact of future extreme weather events on susceptible coastal communities is worrisome. 

Physical infrastructure projects are under works, but improving social infrastructure through risk communication is just as important. As an extension to the work in Rohingya, risk workshops are being developed by the Urban ARK for communities in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. 

The first step in this was identifying susceptible parts of Sunset Park by using sea level rise and inundation modeling from various sources, seen below. Projections from NOAA and the NYC Office of Emergency Management were used.

The first iteration of these workshops occurred in 11th and 12th grade environmental science and living environment classes at Sunset Park High School.