NY Rising to present disaster recovery plan

Meeting in Bensonhurst to address concerns

January 13, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The seawall at Shore Parkway in Bensonhurst sustained heavy damage in Superstorm Sandy. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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Representatives of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, a project established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to address ways to prepare for future Sandy-type natural disasters, will present a preparation and recovery plan in Bensonhurst on Wednesday night.

NY Rising will host a public meeting on Jan. 14, at the Block Institute, 133 Bay 27th St., at 7 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to unveil a disaster recovery plan tailored specifically to the Bensonhurst-Gravesend area, according to Community Board 11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia, who served on a local committee that made recommendations to NY Rising.

Cuomo allocated $3 million in funding for a NY Rising plan for Bensonhurst-Gravesend, Elias-Pavia said.

The governor allotted a total of $25 million for Sandy-damaged areas across the state to plan for the future.

The plan that will be presented publicly for the first time on Jan. 14 is expected to be a comprehensive roadmap on how the Bensonhurst-Gravesend community can survive a natural disaster intact; everything from strengthening the waterfront to advice on how individual homeowners can protect their houses.

“It will be a plan with information to increase resiliency and how to rebuild in the event of another natural disaster,” Elias-Pavia told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Superstorm Sandy, which hit New York City on Oct. 29, 2012, left a great deal of destruction and devastation in its wake, particularly in shorefront communities in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, officials said.

Bensonhurst and Gravesend were not spared from the storm’s wrath. Sandy slammed into the Shore Parkway seawall with such force that it breached the seawall, Elias-Pavia said.

“It breached the seawall at 17th Avenue. We lost about 200 feet of the seawall,” she said.

The seawall runs adjacent to the Shore Parkway Promenade, a bike path and pedestrian walkway. Sections of the promenade were closed to the public for several weeks after the storm.

Department stores in the Caesar’s Bay Shopping Mall, such as Kohl’s and Toys R Us, were flooded, officials said.

The 10-member committee worked for six months to come up with recommendations for NY Rising. Ligia Guallpa, executive director of the Workers Justice Project, a group that works to ensure the rights of immigrant workers, was a member of the committee.

Public outreach was a major component of the committee’s work, Elias-Pavia said. Last summer, committee members went to Caesar’s Bay to talk to shoppers to get their thoughts on what should be done to prepare for future storms. “It was a good location. We were really able to engage the public,” Elias-Pavia said.

NY Rising is holding storm recovery planning meetings all across the state.

For more information about NY Rising, visit

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