Friday, August 28, 2020

The city has completed phase one of Broad Channel’s extreme makeover.


Assemblywoman Stacey Pfeffer Amato, state Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilman Eric Ulrich after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Photo by Dean Moses) (Qns.com)

The ambitious $46 million project raised streets and added nearly half a mile of new storm sewers to reduce flooding in an area that is frequently inundated by Jamaica Bay during high tide and storms.
“This is a unique part of Queens that is highly vulnerable to flooding because of climate change and rising sea levels, and the city went above and beyond to not just add storm sewers but also to raise the streets,” Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Lorraine Grillo said. “We look forward to working with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation to bring these improvements to other parts of Broad Channel.”
Phase two of the work, a $67.7 million project that will affect an even larger adjacent area, began this summer and is anticipated to be completed by summer 2024.
“The residents and businesses of Broad Channel have a special relationship with the natural world and Jamaica Bay in particular,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “These New Yorkers are on the front lines of our changing climate and we were so pleased to join with our partner agencies to bring them some real relief with raised roadways and new catch basins, sewers and outfalls to drain the water from the roadways and away from their properties.”
West 11th Road, West 12th Road and West 13th Road from Cross Bay Boulevard west to the waterline were all rebuilt from the ground up during the project on more than 40,000 feet of piles driven 50 feet or more into the ground. The new streets are approximately two feet higher than before and now have 2,300 feet of new storm sewers with nine new catch basins, plus new bulkheads and outfalls that were added at the end of each street to allow stormwater to drain into the bay.
“As we all know, this is an area that was hard-hit by Sandy, and this massive street raising initiative will help mitigate the flooding in vulnerable areas throughout this community,” Councilman Eric Ulrich said. “I would also like to thank the residents of Broad Channel, who have been extremely patient throughout this entire process. Phase one was a great success, and we look forward to the completion of phase two, which will bring the same improvements to West 14th Road, West 15th Road, West 16th Road and West 17th Road.”
Nearly 2,400 feet of sanitary sewers and 2,400 feet of water mains were replaced to ensure reliable water and sewage service, while nine fire hydrants were replaced to improve fire protection.
“This project, with its new storm sewers and raised streets, will go a long way in protecting this vulnerable community from large storms and flooding, thus improving the living conditions in Broad Channel,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said. 
During the final restoration of the area, 2,500 feet of curbs and sidewalks were rebuilt and four new pedestrian ramps were added at Cross Bay Boulevard to improve safety and ADA accessibility.
“Today we have reached a great milestone for the Broad Channel community, who for years have fought to protect their residents from flooding and water damage from storms and other extreme weather events,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said. “By investing in innovative infrastructure measures now, we are preventing future loss of homes and property, and saving ourselves millions of dollars in the long run. This victory today was only achieved through hard work on a granular level: constant phone calls with all stakeholders, meetings with contractors and individual homeowners, and numerous information sessions led by Dan Mundy Jr. and the Civic Association.”
To manage the needs of residents and businesses during phase two construction, DDC has a full-time Community Construction Liaison assigned to the project. Anna Killion keeps the neighborhood apprised of construction progress, coordinates street closures and utility shut-offs, and can arrange special requests such as deliveries to local homes and businesses. Killion works on-site and can be reached at 347-374-0930 or by email at Killionan@ddc.nyc.

Broad Channel Street Raising Phase II

Stumbling from flavors to tackle


Unique Broad Channel retailer tries to overcome vaping regulation

by Max Parrott / Associate Editor, Queens Chronicle


A cloud hangs over Broad Channel’s sole bait shop, but not the flavored variety of vapor that emanated from its doors in the good times.
Vape, Bait & Tackle, formerly known as Vape Stop, has been struggling to find its footing ever since Mayor de Blasio signed into law a bill that banned the retail sale of flavored e-cigarette products in New York City starting last July. Gov. Cuomo signed a corresponding statewide ban that went into effect in July 2020.
“Our wonderful governor decided to kill my business. So I had no choice just to bring in something else,” said owner Leon Gindel.
Gindel knew that his model would take a big hit as soon as the flavor ban went into effect. Since the majority of his vape clients were boarders and fishermen, he figured he would try to pivot to a model that would kill two birds with one stone, and sling some bait and fishing equipment next to his vape stock of e-liquids, mods and atomizers.
But the idea is easier said than done. Vapes basically sold themselves, according to Gindel. The bait game is not the same story.
“I’m a new guy. It’s hard to get bait on time. On top of that because of the coronavirus, the wholesaler is like 80 percent empty on their stock, so it’s impossible to get hardware,” Gindel said.
He said that two bait shops in Howard Beach have a solid hold on the area’s customer base, and don’t want any new competition.
“They have more customers, more traffic, they buy more [bait],” Gindel said.
Gindel thinks area’s bait wholesaler has been coordinating with the other two shops to leave him in the lurch. That day he was told that the wholesaler had run out of worms, so he had to travel up to his competition, who seemed to have fresh stock, to buy them at retail price.
“Everybody got the bait except me,” Gindel said.
It’s been a year since the city’s flavor ban, and Gindel is still sore about it. The burgeoning network of vape startups and wholesalers that exploded in number several years ago was so accessible to retailers, he said.
“When I was opening a vape shop, wholesalers would give me free stuff, posters. They tried to help me,” Gindel said.
Though the number of youth using e-cigarettes, primarily the Juul brand, had surged to over 5 million, with nearly 1 million youth using the product daily as of 2019, Gindel argued, as many in the industry did, that vapes were fundamentally a smoking cessation tool that “saves lives.”
He believed in his business, though he knows that the political reality is not likely to change any time soon.
“There’s no turning back,” he said.

Broad Channel builds its resiliency

Electeds celebrate $46 million project to reduce area’s flooding





After more than five years of planning and construction, on Tuesday the city celebrated the completion of the first phase of a resiliency project in Broad Channel aimed at combating chronic flooding that has plagued the neighborhood for years.
The $46 million project has so far raised the street level from West 11th to West 13th roads and added almost half a mile of new storm sewers to reduce flooding in an area that is frequently inundated by Jamaica Bay during high tides and storms.
Administrators involved in the project, which was managed by the departments of Design and Construction for the Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection, gathered a group of elected and civic leaders on Tuesday who marveled at the project’s progress.
Part of the project involved removing curbing from the street, in an unorthodox street plan that took meeting after meeting with civic leaders to bring them on board with the concept.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) said it was a miracle that it all worked out.
“This project had every ingredient not to happen: between the moving parts of multiple agencies, $46 million at a time when the city is not doing well financially, catch basins, storm sewers, bulkheads — this project had every reason not to happen in our lifetime. But it did,” Addabbo said.
Phase 2 of the work, a $67.7 million project that will extend from West 14th to West 17th roads, began this summer and is anticipated to be completed in summer 2024.
The project is designed to protect Broad Channel’s residences against the rising sea level caused by climate change. Beyond raising the street up, it created a system of storm drains and catch basins that prevents flooding by funneling runoff into Jamaica Bay.
“If there ever was a wake-up call, it was Hurricane Sandy. It not only woke up the people not only in this community but all across the city that climate change is real,” said Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). “We’ve got to put the shovel in the ground and put money in the budget and come up with creative solutions.”
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Park) added to the sentiment by pointing out that constituents on the peninsula and in Broad Channel have been living there for generations.
“Investing in our communities surrounded by water is important because we’re not moving,” Pheffer Amato said.
All three representatives also expressed their appreciation for Broad Channel Civic Association President Dan Mundy Jr. and his father, Dan Mundy Sr., who led the effort from the community side and put in countless hours to make sure the project suited their needs.
To execute the project, the three roads jutting out from Cross Bay Boulevard west to the waterline were all rebuilt from the ground up on more piles of material driven 50 feet or more into the ground.
The new streets are approximately 2 feet higher than before and now have 2,300 feet of new storm sewers with nine new catch basins, plus new bulkheads and outfalls that were added at the end of each roadway to allow stormwater to drain into the bay.
Another six existing catch basins were replaced at Cross Bay Boulevard. Sanitary sewers and water mains were also replaced as part of the project.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Hazardous Weather Briefing

Hazardous Weather Outlook


Hazardous Weather Outlook
National Weather Service New York NY
326 AM EDT Thu Aug 27 2020

This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for southern Connecticut,
northeast New Jersey and southeast New York.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed the area in an enhanced risk
for severe thunderstorms this afternoon into this evening. Severe
thunderstorms are likely with damaging wind gusts of 60 mph or
higher, along with large hail as the primary threats. An isolated
tornado is also possible along with brief heavy rainfall.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

Spotter activation will likely be needed. Please safely report
significant weather conditions while following local, state, and CDC
guidelines.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Heat Advisory issued for our area


Heat Advisory

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service New York NY
315 AM EDT Mon Aug 10 2020

CTZ005>010-NJZ002-004-006-103>108-NYZ067>075-176>179-102030-
/O.CON.KOKX.HT.Y.0006.200810T1600Z-200813T0000Z/
Northern Fairfield-Northern New Haven-Northern Middlesex-
Northern New London-Southern Fairfield-Southern New Haven-
Western Passaic-Eastern Passaic-Hudson-Western Bergen-
Eastern Bergen-Western Essex-Eastern Essex-Western Union-
Eastern Union-Orange-Putnam-Rockland-Northern Westchester-
Southern Westchester-New York (Manhattan)-Bronx-
Richmond (Staten Island)-Kings (Brooklyn)-Northern Queens-
Northern Nassau-Southern Queens-Southern Nassau-
315 AM EDT Mon Aug 10 2020

...HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM EDT
WEDNESDAY...

* WHAT...Heat index values up to 97 expected.

* WHERE...Portions of northeast New Jersey, southern Connecticut
  and southeast New York.

* WHEN...From noon today to 8 PM EDT Wednesday.

* IMPACTS...Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat
  illnesses to occur.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Heat Advisory is issued when the combination of heat and
humidity is expected to make it feel like it is 95 to 99 degrees
for two or more consecutive days, or 100 to 104 degrees for any
length of time.

Seniors and those with chronic health problems or mental health
conditions are at an increased risk. Homes without air
conditioning can be much hotter than outdoor temperatures.

Use air conditioning to stay cool at home or go to a place that
has air conditioning. Check on vulnerable friends, family members
and neighbors.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks
in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by
heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke
is an emergency! In cases of heat stroke call 9 1 1.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Coastal Flooding to accompany tonight's high tide


Coastal Hazard Message
National Weather Service New York NY
327 AM EDT Tue Aug 4 2020

...COASTAL FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING
TO 1 AM EDT WEDNESDAY...

* WHAT...Two to three feet of inundation above ground level 
  expected in vulnerable areas near the waterfront and shoreline.
  [NOTE: There is still uncertainty on when the
peak surge arrives. This forecast is based on a worst case
scenario, with a 2-3 ft surge coming in at the time of high tide
Tuesday Night. If the surge peaks earlier, then water levels
and inundation will be less than forecast.

* COASTAL FLOOD IMPACTS...There is an elevated threat of
  property damage. Widespread flooding of vulnerable areas near
  the waterfront and shoreline. Expect 2 to 3 feet of inundation
  above ground level in low lying, vulnerable areas. This will
  result in numerous road closures and cause widespread flooding
  of low lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns and
  homes/businesses with basements near the waterfront. Vehicles
  parked in vulnerable areas near the waterfront will likely
  become flooded. Flooding will also extend inland from the
  waterfront along tidal rivers and bays.

* SHORELINE IMPACTS...Large breaking waves of 10 to 15 ft will
  result in considerable erosion of dune structures and
  localized overwashes along the ocean beach front. This may
  resulting in some flooding of roadways and vulnerable
  structures behind protective dunes.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Take the necessary actions to protect flood-prone property. If
travel is required, do not drive around barricades or through
water of unknown depth.

Inexperienced swimmers should remain out of the water due to
dangerous surf conditions.

If you enter the surf zone, always have a flotation device with
you and swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax
and float, and do not swim against the current. If able, swim in
a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face
the shore and yell or wave for help.

Tropical Storm Warning (updated)


Isaias Local Watch/Warning Statement/Advisory Number 29
National Weather Service New York NY  AL092020
535 AM EDT Tue Aug 4 2020

...TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT...

* LOCATIONS AFFECTED
    - Jamaica
    - Howard Beach
    - Rockaway Beach

* WIND
    - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Equivalent Tropical Storm force wind
        - Peak Wind Forecast: 45-55 mph with gusts to 75 mph
        - Window for Tropical Storm force winds: until early this
          evening

    - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST
      UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for wind 58
      to 73 mph
        - The wind threat has remained nearly steady from the
          previous assessment.
        - PLAN: Plan for dangerous wind of equivalent strong tropical
          storm force.
        - PREPARE: Last minute efforts to protect life and property
          should now be complete. The area remains subject to
          significant wind damage.
        - ACT: Now is the time to shelter from dangerous wind.

    - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Unfolding
        - Potential impacts from the main wind event are unfolding.

* STORM SURGE
    - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Localized storm surge possible
        - Peak Storm Surge Inundation: The potential for 1-3 feet
          above ground somewhere within surge prone areas
        - Window of concern: through Wednesday morning

    - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST
      UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for storm
      surge flooding greater than 1 foot above ground
        - The storm surge threat has remained nearly steady from the
          previous assessment.
        - PLAN: Shelter against storm surge flooding greater than 1
          foot above ground.
        - PREPARE: All flood preparations should be complete. Expect
          flooding of low-lying roads and property.
        - ACT: Stay away from storm surge prone areas. Continue to
          follow the instructions of local officials.

    - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Unfolding
        - Potential impacts from the main surge event are unfolding.

* FLOODING RAIN
    - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST: Flash Flood Watch is in effect
        - Peak Rainfall Amounts: No additional significant rainfall
          forecast

    - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST
      UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for
      moderate flooding rain
        - The flooding rain threat has remained nearly steady from
          the previous assessment.
        - PLAN: Emergency plans should include the potential for
          moderate flooding from heavy rain. Evacuations and rescues
          are possible.
        - PREPARE: Consider protective actions if you are in an area
          vulnerable to flooding.
        - ACT: Heed any flood watches and warnings. Failure to take
          action may result in serious injury or loss of life.

    - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Significant
        - Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations
          and rescues.
        - Rivers and streams may quickly become swollen with swifter
          currents and may overspill their banks in a few places,
          especially in usually vulnerable spots. Small streams,
          creeks, canals, and ditches may overflow.
        - Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken
          foundations. Several places may experience expanded areas
          of rapid inundation at underpasses, low lying spots, and
          poor drainage areas. Some streets and parking lots take on
          moving water as storm drains and retention ponds overflow.
          Driving conditions become hazardous. Some road and bridge
          closures.

* TORNADO
    - LATEST LOCAL FORECAST:
        - Situation is somewhat favorable for tornadoes

    - THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST
      UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for a few
      tornadoes
        - The tornado threat has remained nearly steady from the
          previous assessment.
        - PLAN: Emergency plans should continue to include possible
          tornadoes.
        - PREPARE: Stay within your shelter keeping informed of the
          latest tornado situation.
        - ACT: Move quickly to the safest place within your shelter
          if a tornado warning is issued.

    - POTENTIAL IMPACTS: Limited
        - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the
          execution of emergency plans during tropical events.
        - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with
          power and communications disruptions.
        - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings,
          chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or
          overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off,
          shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown
          off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.