Gerritsen Beach

Post-Superstorm Sandy rebuilding continues in Gerritsen Beach

Eye on Real Estate

December 13, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In Gerritsen Beach, which is on a peninsula and has a canal (shown here) in the middle of it, residents continue rebuilding homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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I’ll give ya shelter from the storm.

Five years after Superstorm Sandy, rebuilding continues in Gerritsen Beach, a beloved Brooklyn neighborhood on a slim peninsula.

The refrain from Bob Dylan’s old song came to mind the other day as we walked the streets of the picturesque, water-ringed neighborhood.

On many blocks, we saw residential construction projects in varying stages of completion.

On some of the fences surrounding the construction sites, signs saying “NYC Build It Back” have been posted. That’s a city program for administering federal Superstorm Sandy-related relief funds.

At some sites, brand-new houses are being constructed to replace Sandy-damaged homes that had to be demolished.

At other sites, new foundations are being built to raise existing houses several feet off the ground to comply with flood-protection regulations.

The aim of both types of construction projects is to leave homeowners with residences that will provide shelter from the (next) storm.

The homeowners doing the rebuilding and renovation have owned their properties for many years — in some cases for several decades, city Finance Department records show. 

A 10-foot storm surge

Examples of brand-new-house construction to replace Sandy-damaged dwellings include 13 Gotham Ave., 39 Seba Ave. and 9 Post Court, city Buildings Department filings indicate.

Existing houses that are getting new foundations to raise them off the ground include 55 Bartlett Place, 5 Cyrus Ave. and 6A Melba Court, Buildings Department records show.

Superstorm Sandy, which struck New York City on Oct. 29, 2012, was a harrowing disaster for Gerritsen Beach residents.

The city had classified Gerritsen Beach as a Zone B area, so they weren’t required to evacuate before Sandy struck.

The reasoning, which turned out to be erroneous, was that the Belt Parkway on the opposite shore of Plumb Beach Channel from Gerritsen Beach would protect the neighborhood from life-threatening flooding. It didn’t.

There was a 10-foot storm surge. Nearly all the approximately 1,800 houses in Gerritsen Beach were flooded.

The neighborhood’s volunteer fire department played a huge role in the neighborhood’s recovery. So did organizations called Gerritsen Beach Cares and the Gerritsen Beach Long Term Recovery Project.


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