Shorefront residents refuse to leave thier homes as Hurricane Sandy approaches.

Shorefront residents: We’re not going anywhere

The Brooklyn Paper
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Borough stalwarts who would rather face Hurricane Sandy in their own home instead of a shelter are thumbing their noses at Mayor Bloomberg’s mandatory evacuation order for low-lying areas — banking on the belief that the city won’t be able to conduct a door-to-door sweep of shorefront neighborhoods.

From Brighton Beach to Manhattan Beach, residents told this paper that they weren’t planning to heed the Mayor’s demands to leave flood-prone areas as Hurricane Sandy — and the 75 mile-per-hour winds expected to come with it — barrels toward the borough.

“I’m not moving,” said Community Board 15 chairwoman and Manhattan Beach resident Teresa Scavo. “They tell you it’s a mandatory evacuation, but they do not have the resources to knock on your door and tell you to get out.”

Scavo is just one of several residents who said they weren’t leaving the evacuation zone.

In Brighton Beach, high-rise apartment building residents said they plan to wait out the hurricane — dubbed the Frankenstorm since it’s so close to Halloween — at home since they’ve already weathered Hurricane Irene and the Halloween Nor’Easter of 1991 called “The Perfect Storm.”

“You think we never had a storm surge before?” asked Brighton Beach activist Ida Sanoff, who is refusing to leave her building. “I would have to see 10 feet of water coming down my block to think of leaving.”

Sanoff said she and her neighbors were filling up containers with water to prepare for power outages, cracking windows to avoid dangerous indoor-outdoor pressure changes, and keeping an eye on the elderly.

“This is a time when New Yorkers pull together, and we’re all hunkering down here,” said Sanoff. “Our primary concern is that we’ll lose power and not have water, or the windows will break.”

But power outages are a very real possibility — and Hurricane Sandy may have nothing to do with it.

Councilman Domenic Recchia (D–Coney Island) said the city plans to cut elevator power and all utilities to public housing complexes in the evacuation zone.

“Many people do not feel comfortable leaving their homes, and I’m trying to explain to them that they need to go to a shelter because they going to have no hot water or elevators,” he said.

Other elected officials said all of the hype surrounding the anti-climactic Hurricane Irene may hurt this year’s evacuation.

“Almost everyone evacuated last year, but because nothing really happened, it’s become much more difficult to convince people they have to go,” said Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D–Coney Island) “But it’s simple. A very, very bad storm is coming, and people need to go to a shelter.”

Borough President Markowitz wholeheartedly agreed with Brook-Krasny’s assessment.

“Forecasters expect Sandy to have more far-reaching impacts than we experienced last year with Irene,” Markowitz said in a statement. “Brooklynites are tough but it’s also important to use common sense and err on the side of caution.”

Bloomberg ordered residents in flood-prone areas to evacuate just before noon on Sunday, giving the more than 150,000 Brooklynites living in Coney Island, Seagate, Manhattan Beach, and Brighton Beach as well as homes in Sheepshead Bay, Red Hook, Gowanus, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Columbia Street, and DUMBO waterfronts just a few hours to pack up and leave their homes.

The evacuation order could not have come at a worse time: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority suspended all bus and subway service beginning at 7 pm last night.

Bloomberg said he wanted to protect both residents and first responders from anticipated storm surges.

“If you don’t evacuate you’re not only putting your own life in danger, but you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who will have to come in and rescue you,” Bloomberg said at Sunday’s press conference. “There’s no reason to have extra risks because some people said, ‘Well I’ll wait it out’ then later on changed their mind.”

The mayor recommended that residents bed down with friends and relatives in non-flood zones, but those who have no place to go can stay at a number of borough public schools that will be drummed into service as emergency shelters, the two closest being at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School on 20th Avenue between 57th and 59th streets in Borough Park and at I.S. 187 on 65th Street between 11th and 12th avenues in Dyker Heights. A full list of shelters can be found here.

High wind gusts are expected to hit the borough this afternoon and evening. The storm is expected to make landfall at 2 am on Tuesday morning.

Check back with us throughout the day to learn more about the storm.

with Colin Mixson and Will Bredderman

Reach Deputy Editor Thomas Tracy at or by calling (718) 260-2525.
Updated 5:36 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

J from Brooklyn says:
“I would have to see 10 feet of water coming down my block to think of leaving.”

Ida, you idiot, by the time you see that it's too late. And then rescuers have to risk their own lives to extract your sorry *ss!!

Oct. 29, 2012, 6:25 am
josh from safezone says:
Hey Ida, looks like your going to get your wish and as post says above me, going to be to late. So don't you dare think about asking for help when you start to drown you just suck that waste down like the self sufficient patriot that you are. Cheers
Oct. 29, 2012, 6:35 am
O'Malley from Zone A says:
Good to hear from fresh voices
Oct. 29, 2012, 8:38 am
scott from park slope says:
wind speeds might exceed 25 mph. one gust of wind in NC topped 65 mph. even if you're not out surfing today you still run the risk of having your hair tousled. yup, a storm of truly histrionic proportions.
Oct. 29, 2012, 9:41 am
Dave from Park Slope says:
Teresa Scavo is afraid that if she evacuates, the city might come in and stripe a bike lane. What an idiot.
Oct. 29, 2012, 10:51 am
JAY from PSLOPE says:
I really like the comment by the person who asked "you think we've never had a storm surge before".
Sigh, we are being told that we are looking at the highest storm surge ever, 11 feet maybe more, so no idiot, you have not seen this before.
I guess if people insist on being stupid you can't stop them, but the city really should be telling people that if they get into trouble in the storm no one is going to risk themselves to come get them and that they are on their own, not one person should be put at risk to go and rescue anyone who refused to evac.
Oct. 29, 2012, 11:23 am
ty from pps says:
Scott... really?

The evacuation areas of Brooklyn are already flooding and the storm isn't even here yet. Add in high tide at 10:00 tonight and these douchebag townies who refuse to leave their houses in Seagate, Red Hook and other areas will be in big trouble.

The storm has been OFF SHORE this whole time. It has also built up energy as it moved north. It will be making LAND FALL in New Jersey. Winds of 90 mph are being reported... those are coming here.

The current 35 mph gusts just knocked down a tree next to my house. What happens when you double that, add three inches of rain and a coastal storm surge?
Oct. 29, 2012, 11:27 am
Stu from Bay Ridge says:
What the government's got to do is start enforcing the old "no development on a flood plain" laws, and for gods sake stop offering Federal insurance to people building near the ocean who private insurers won't cover!
Oct. 29, 2012, 12:25 pm
Darrel from Bath Beach says:
We live right close to coney and the Gravesend bay, Zone B but close to Zone A. The super of my buildig put potting soil in plastic bags in lieu of sandbags to keep out the surge, that, and some dish cloths at the bottom of the door. Everything will be ok now. :-)
Oct. 29, 2012, 1:08 pm
Mary from Carroll Gardens says:
It's not only called Frankenstorm because it's so close to Halloween, it's also because of the sum of its parts that make it a real monster of a storm:

"Start with Sandy, an ordinary late summer hurricane from the tropics, moving north up the East Coast. Bring in a high pressure ridge of air centered around Greenland that blocks the hurricane’s normal out-to-sea path and steers it west toward land.

Add a wintry cold front moving in from the west that helps pull Sandy inland and mix in a blast of Arctic air from the north for one big collision. Add a full moon and its usual effect, driving high tides. Factor in immense waves commonly thrashed up by a huge hurricane plus massive gale-force winds."
Oct. 29, 2012, 2:35 pm
T from Brooklyn says:
Teresa Scavo has no business representing her community if she has no regard for her community's safety.

Get rid of this idiot.
Oct. 29, 2012, 4:35 pm

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