Hurricane Sandy: A Frightening Night Around The Gowanus Area

 Union Street near Bond Street (Credit: Mary P.)
A bus parked on Bond Street caught fire overnight (Credit Cynthia S)

Water rising at Huntington Street next to the Gowanus Canal (Credit: Steven M)
Smith Street and Garnet Street. The site at Bayside Fuel under water. (credit: Steven M.)

I hope that everyone is safe. I am sure that you are all assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy overnight. Because of their proximity to water, Red Hook and Gowanus residents certainly bore the brunt of this storm. Above are just some of the photos sent to me by local residents of what happened overnight in the Gowanus area.

Since Gowanus flood water is most probably highly contaminated with toxins and high levels of human waste, please be careful everyone. Councilman Brad Lander issued the following warning to Gowanus residents:
"As the floodwaters recede – this should be obvious – do not touch standing water in the area near the Gowanus Canal, or any sediment or debris left by Gowanus flood-waters.
After the storm, the EPA and DEP are committed to work together conduct any sampling needed to address potential issues of toxicity created by the flooding."

 Further, he states:
"This storm is a stark reminder -- among many other things (like our many blessings, the importance of preparedness, and the need to take climate change seriously) -- of why the Gowanus Canal cleanup, as well as long-term infrastructure and planning decisions there, are so important."

Let's hope that this is the beginning of a real dialog with our local politicians, Community Board and New York City in regards to the Gowanus area and its future.