5 Years After Sandy: Vulnerable Red Hook Is Booming at Water's Edge

"This growing Brooklyn neighborhood, flooded during Superstorm Sandy, is now confronting the threat of future storms and sea level rise."

"With its 578 miles of shoreline, New York City is never far from the water, but few neighborhoods are more defined by their proximity to the blue than Red Hook.

This isolated peninsula in southwestern Brooklyn sticks out into New York's Upper Bay like a boxer's chin, and water surrounds it on three sides, with the fourth walled off by the man-made river that is the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. During its late 19th century heyday, that location made Red Hook for a time the busiest freight port in the world and the center of New York's lucrative cotton trade. When the maritime trade move away from Red Hook after World War II, the neighborhood fell into steep decline, but today Red Hook is on the rise again, as first artists and now increasingly wealthy professionals have moved into the area, attracted by its independent spirit—and those water views.

But on Oct. 29, 2012, the water turned against Red Hook. The winds of Superstorm Sandy, striking at high tide, created a massive storm surge that pushed hundreds of millions of gallons of water onto and over New York's shoreline. The resulting flood would cause $19 billion in damages throughout New York City and kill dozens of people, but Red Hook, which is so low-lying that nearly the entire community fell within the city's mandatory evacuation zone, bore some of the worst of the storm's wrath."

Bryan Walsh reports for The Bridge (via InsideClimate News) October 26, 2017.


"New York Lets Neighborhood Return To Nature To Guard Against Storms" (Reuters)

"These U.S. Cities Are Most Vulnerable to Major Coastal Flooding and Sea Level Rise" (Climate Central)

"New York City’s Fate Is Closely Tied To Antarctic Ice, Climate Scientists Warn" (Washington Post)

Source: The Bridge, 10/27/2017