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Storm urge! City wants sea walls for Gowanus, Newtown

Storm urge! City wants sea walls for Gowanus, Newtown
Surge protector: A rendering shows what a Newtown Creek sea wall might look like.
New York City Economic Development Corporation

The city wants to build sea walls at the mouths of the Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal to keep them from overflowing their banks during the next Hurricane Sandy.

Government bean counters are taking bids from designers for the elaborate flood protection structures, as Capital New York first reported. The Sandy recovery team assembled under former Mayor Bloomberg say the storm opened their eyes to the potential for the inlets to inundate the borough far inland from the New York Harbor.

“Hurricane Sandy did not just expose our vulnerabilities along the ocean, it also had a devastating impact along inland waterways in all five boroughs,” said Daniel Zarrilli, director of the newly created Office of Recovery and Resiliency. “Storm surge barriers along inland waterways would play a vital role in the city’s resiliency efforts.”

Greenpoint came out of the 2012 superstorm fairly dry, but Gowanus got soaked by canal floodwaters.

One Greenpoint resident said the city is overreaching, at least in his neighborhood.

“It is a waste of money,” Michael Hoffman said. “It did not get all that flooded around here during Sandy. Maybe they need it in other areas, but not here.”

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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