Editor’s Note: AdaptNY’s Community Editor Sebastian Auyanet recently completed a resilience reporting program that tied together his interests in climate change adaptation with his interests in new ways of conducting journalist. He shares his experience in this report. Continue reading
Five years after Superstorm Sandy hit New York City, its dwellers marched across the Brooklyn Bridge to demand quicker solutions and more resiliency efforts. AdaptNY made a quick social media curation of the event, the lingering consequences of the storm and what should be done now to make the city resilient.
Mar 18, 2015 – New Yorkers were exposed to the harsh realities of climate change when Superstorm Sandy hit more than two years ago. Those living in coastal neighborhoods like Coney Island and the Rockaways are struggling to deal with the mounting impacts of climate change. But now it’s not just the storms they fear, it’s the rising cost of flood insurance that threatens to drown them.
Come next year, revised flood zone maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) go into effect, expanding the amount of land considered at high-risk of flooding. The new maps will include roughly 60,000 more buildings, according to an analysis by the City Comptroller’s office. The city’s high-risk flood zones will soon be home to 400,457 New Yorkers, an increase of 84% from the current 218,088.
The projected increase in flood insurance premiums is significant. For a typical home in the high-risk zones, insurance premiums could increase from around $1,000 in 2014 to nearly $14,500 by 2030.
Flood zones have expanded in every borough. The increase is particularly dramatic along the eastern and western edges of Staten Island, and in South Brooklyn and South Queens.
Sandy Anniversary Brings Outpouring of News & Analysis, Investigations & Remembrances
It’s been two years since Superstorm Sandy slammed the New York metro area, causing deaths, displacement and billions in damage. News coverage of all kinds was extensive.
For some Sandy victims, the ordeal is far from over even a year later, if they are among those suffering long-lasting mental health problems in the wake of the superstorm.
A Gallup poll taken shortly after Sandy showed a significant increase in cases of depression in those areas hit hardest by the storm. Among the most affected zip codes, the diagnosis of depression had gone up 25 percent compared to before Sandy.
While the longer-term extent of the psychological damage is less clear, lessons learned from previous natural disasters can help in response to Sandy-related psychiatric issues.
Over the last week, in a special multi-part investigation from a team of reporters at AdaptNY and our news partner Gotham Gazette, we revealed on a striking disconnect in communication between New York’s City Hall and some of the communities most affected by Sandy, as they try to address the urgent task of adapting New York to climate change.
In-depth reporting found fully half of the community boards we spoke to that represent those hardest-hit areas had serious concerns about their communications with the city.
But to its credit, City Hall responded in the wake of the criticism about community involvement in its climate change planning process by deciding to reconvene two community advisory task forces on the climate resilience issue and pledging “broad-based outreach” to some of the city’s hardest-hit neighborhoods as part of a Department of City Planning study.
Take a look at our in-depth, two-month-long investigative report below:
SPECIAL REPORT, PT 3: City Promises ‘Broad-Based Outreach’ To Communities To Prepare For Future Storms
This story was written by Sarah Crean, with reporting by Carla Astudillo, Emily Keller, Amy Kraft and Linda Thrasybule, research by Jessica Scanlon, Roxanne Scott and EJ Stewart and mapping by Cesar Bustamante and Carla Astudillo. It is part three of a series. Part one was published on Monday. Part two on Wednesday.
New York City has decided to reconvene two community advisory task forces that weighed in on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s multi-billion dollar plan to protect the city from future extreme weather and the effects of climate change in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the city’s resiliency director told the AdaptNY and news partner Gotham Gazette in an exclusive interview. The task forces will resume meeting this fall.
Daniel Zarrilli, the city’s director of resiliency, also said yesterday that there would be “broad-based outreach” to some of the city’s hardest-hit neighborhoods as part of a Department of City Planning study that will examine “how we can ultimately build more resilient communities.” The study will examine issues such as the city’s building codes and the new national flood insurance maps.
The announcements came Oct. 24 with the city fielding criticism about community involvement in its climate change planning process, as detailed in a multi-part investigative report by AdaptNY and Gotham Gazette published earlier that week.
This story was written by Sarah Crean, with reporting by Carla Astudillo, Emily Keller, Amy Kraft and Linda Thrasybule, research by Jessica Scanlon, Roxanne Scott and EJ Stewart and mapping by Cesar Bustamante and Carla Astudillo. This is part two of three. The first installment was published on Monday, the last will be published Friday.
New York’s City Hall and some of its community boards show an at-times striking disconnect over ongoing preparations for the impacts of climate change, as revealed in board-by-board reporting conducted over the last two months by a team of reporters for AdaptNY and news partner Gotham Gazette.
Five of the 18 most vulnerable community boards – the city’s front line of government – reported that they felt they were communicating effectively with City Hall about climate change preparations.
We reached eleven of the 18 boards hardest-hit by Sandy. Fully half of those that responded to an extensive survey or spoke with our reporters had serious concerns about their communications with the city. They expressed frustration and shared a sense that the city is not moving fast enough to rebuild or prepare in anticipation of more extreme weather to come.
In Part Two of our special report, we take a brief look at a half dozen of the boards that were most heavily affected by Sandy and how they view their interactions with the city on the questions of rebuilding and preparing for future storms.