Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Rikers Island

Since I wrote extensively on this issue after Hurricane Irene ("Assuming the Worst: How the Rikers Island Hurricane Irene Story Went From Innuendo to Absurdity"), I wanted to link back to that piece and recap how this works in case this comes up again with Hurricane Sandy.

On Sunday, the city called for an evacuation of Zone A. Here's a map showing zones A, B and C.

Riker's Island is not shaded as any of those on the map. And that's basically right -- the land isn't that low -- with one exception. A DOC spokeswoman explained to me in August (see the post) that almost all of the island is above any of the areas (A/B/C); there's a small part of the island that's low enough to be in Zone C, and that area would be evacuated if an evacuation order included Zone C.

That wasn't the case with Hurricane Irene and, as of Sunday afternoon, is not the case with Hurricane Sandy.

NYC DOC has also issued the following: (excerpted)
Given its elevation, Rikers Island can withstand any storm up to and including a Category 4 hurricane. Rikers Island facilities are NOT in low-lying areas, and therefore like nearby small islands Roosevelt Island and City Island, is not seriously threatened by severe flooding.
The City has carefully reviewed Rikers Island, as it has done with the entire city, and no section of Rikers Island facilities are located in Hurricane Evacuation Zone A.


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